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North Carolina State Library 


North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXIX 

Numbers 1-4 


Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 1924, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may be 
procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 




Douglas LeTell Rights 


James S. Purcell 



James High 


CAROLINA IN 1850 39 

Joseph Davis Applewhite 



William T. Alderson, Jr. 



Mary Callum Wiley 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Ulmer's and Beck's To Make My Bread: Preparing 
Cherokee Foods — By Ruth Current; Hunter's Unto 
These Hills, a Drama of the Cherokee — By Richard 
Walser; Griffin's Essays on North Carolina History 
— By Robert H. Woody; Alden's General Charles Lee: 
Traitor or Patriot? — By L. Walter Seegers; Cald- 
well's The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians — 
By Sarah McCulloh Lemmon; Davis's The Ragged 
Ones — By Chalmers G. Davidson; Davidson's, Mid- 
dleton's, and Rouse's They Gave Us Freedom — By 
Daniel M. McFarland ; Tankersley's College Life at 
Old Oglethorpe — By Stuart Noblin; Davidson's 
Friend of the People: The Life of Dr. Peter Fayssoux 
of Charleston, South Carolina — By James W. Patton ; 


Sf\ ft ft 

iv Contents 

Hopkins's A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky 
— By Stuart Noblin; Cornelius's The History of 
Randolph-Macon Woman's College: From the Founding 
in 1891 Through the Year 1949-1950 — By David A. 
Lockmiller; Kirwan's Revolt of the Rednecks: Mis- 
sissippi Politics, 1876-1925 — By Edwin Adams Davis; 
Coulter's College Life in the Old South — By Henry 
S. Stroupe; Hoover's and Ratchford's Economic Re- 
sources and Policies of the South — By C. K. Brown; 
Coleman's Liberty and Property — By Hugh T. Lef- 
ler; Knight's Education in the United States — By 
Elbert Vaughan Wills ; Turner's The United States, 
1830-1850: The Nation and Its Sections — By Richard 
Bardolph ; Federal Records of World War II — By E. G. 


NUMBER 2, APRIL, 1952 

CAROLINA, 1820-1860 159 

Fannie Memory Farmer 


John Chalmers Vinson 


Charles Grier Sellers, Jr. 


James M. Merrill 



Ernest M. Lander, Jr. 

ASSOCIATION, Raleigh, December 7, 1951 


Christopher Crittenden 


TOWN 230 

E. Lawrence Lee, Jr. 



Contents v 

FOR 1951 246 

Frontis W. Johnston 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 


Edmonds's The Negro and Fusion Politics in North 
Carolina, 1894-1901 — By Preston W. Edsall; Rec- 
ord's The Negro and the Communist Party — By Pres- 
ton W. Edsall; Dula's and Simpson's Durham and 
Her People — By D. J. Whitener; Taylor's Survey of 
Marine Fisheries of North Carolina — By David H. 
Wallace; Bailey's and Leavitt's The Southern Hu- 
manities Conference and Its Constituent Societies — By 
M. L. Skaggs ; Going's Bourbon Democracy in Alabama 
— By Frontis W. Johnston ; Carter's The Territorial 
Papers of the United States — By Walter H. Ryle; 
Loth's The People's General: The Personal Story of 
Lafayette — By May Davis Hill ; Fishbein's and Ben- 
nett's Records of the Accounting Department of the 
Office of Price Administration, Shonkwiler's Records 
of the Bureau of Ordnance, and Martin's Records of 
the Solid Fuels Administration for War, Preliminary 
Inventories of the National Archives, numbers 32, 33, 
and 34 — By Dorothy Dodd. 


NUMBER 3, JULY, 1952 


David B. Quinn 


C. Robert Haywood 



Donald J. Rulfs 



Wilfred B. Yearns, Jr. 

vi Contents 


Elaine von Oesen 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Oates The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape 
Fear — By Paul Murray; Walser's Inglis Fletcher of 
Bandon Plantation — By Chalmers G. Davidson; 
Baker's Mrs. G. I. Joe — By Percival Perry ; Lewis's 
Northampton Parishes — By William S. Powell ; Hol- 
lis'S University of South Carolina. Volume I. South 
Carolina College — By J. Isaac Copeland; Williams's 
St. Michael's, Charleston, 1751-1951 — By Lawrence F. 
Brewster; Easterby's The Journal of the Commons 
House of Assembly, September 12, 1739-March 26, 17 Ul 
(The Colonial Records of South Carolina) — By Hugh T. 
Lefler; Milling's Colonial South Carolina: Two Con- 
temporary Descriptions — By C. E. Cauthen; Wal- 
lace's History of Wofford College, 185U-19U9 — By 
Frontis W. Johnston; Schlegel's Conscripted City: 
Norfolk in World War II — By Horace W. Raper; 
Lawrence's Storm over Savannah: The Story of 
Count d'Estaing and the Siege of the Town in 1779 
— By J. D. Applewhite; Woodward's Origins of 
the New South, 1877-1913 — By Jefferson Davis 
Bragg; Murdoch's The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793- 
1796 — By Cecil Johnson; Freeman's George Wash- 
ington: A Biography — By Leonidas Dodson; Mon- 
tross'S Rag, Tag and Bobtail: The Story of the 
Continental Army, 1775-1783 — By Hugh F. Rankin; 
McNair's Simon Cameron's Adventure in Iron, 1837- 
181+6 — By James W. Patton; Shott's The Railroad 
Monopoly : An Instrument of Banker Control of the 
American Economy — By C. K. Brown ; Thornbrough's 
A Friendly Mission: John Candler's Letters from 
America, 1853-185 U — By Tinsley L. Spraggins; Mc- 
Allister's Business Executives and the Humanities — 
By Tinsley L. Spraggins; Paschal's Mr. Justice 
Sutherland: A Man Against the State — By Preston W. 








Charles Griek Sellers, Jr. 


Howard Braverman 


IN 1800 523 

Hugh Hill Wooten 



Helen Harriet Salls 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Griffin's History of Rutherford County, 1937-1951 — 
By Percival Perry; McCoy's The First Presbyterian 
Church, Asheville, N. C, 1794-1951— By George W. 
Paschal; Woody's The Papers and Addresses of Wil- 
liam Preston Feiv : Late President of Duke University — 
By David A. Lockmiller; Stick's Graveyard of the 
Atlantic: Shipwrecks of the North Carolina Coast — 
By Robert H. Woody; Willison's Behold Virginia! 
The Fifth Crown — By William S. Powell; Ches- 
nutt's Charles Waddell Chesnutt: Pioneer of the Color 
Line — By Louise Greer; Montgomery's Cracker 
Parties — By Glenn W. Rainey ; Mangum's The Legal 
Status of the Tenant Farmer in the Southeast — By 
Fannie Memory Farmer. 



North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXIX 

Number 1 

JANUARY, 1952 

Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 


• « • • 

c c c < 

< . < < ' « ' 

Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 


Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lepler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Frankltn Brown, Chairman 
Gertrude Sprague Carraway - " McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192k, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may be 
procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX JANUARY, 1952 Number 1 



Douglas LeTell Rights 



James S. Purcell 

ACT 24 

James High 


CAROLINA IN 1850 39 

Joseph Davis Applewhite 



William T. Alderson, Jr. 



Mary Callum Wiley 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Ulmer's and Beck's To Make My Bread: Preparing 
Cherokee Foods — By Ruth Current; Hunter's Unto 
These Hills, a Drama of the Cherokee — By Richard 
Walser; Griffin's Essays on North Carolina History . 
— By Robert H. Woody; Alden's General Charles Lee: 

Entered as second-class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



Traitor or Patriot? — By L. Walter Seegers; Cald- 
well's The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians 
— By Sarah McCulloh Lemmon; Davis's The Ragged 
Ones — By Chalmers G. Davidson; Davidson's, Mid- 
dleton's, and Rouse's They Gave Us Freedom — By 
Daniel M. McFarland ; Tankersley's College Life at 
Old Oglethorpe — By Stuart Noblin; Davidson's 
Friend of the People: The Life of Dr. Peter Fayssoux 
of Charleston, South Carolina — By James W. Patton ; 
Hopkins's A History of the Hemp Industry in Ken- 
tucky — By Stuart Noblin; Cornelius's The History 
of Randolph-Macon Woman's College: From the 
Founding in 1891 Through the Year 19 U9 -19 50 — By 
David A. Lockmiller; Kirwan's Revolt of the Red- 
necks: Mississippi Politics, 1876-1925 — By Edwin 
Adams Davis ; Coulter's College Life in the Old South 
— By Henry S. Stroupe; Hoover's and Ratchford's 
Economic Resources and Policies of the South — By 
C. K. Brown; Coleman's Liberty and Property — By 
Hugh T. Lefler; Knight's Education in the United 
States — By Elbert Vaughan Wills; Turner's The 
United States, 1830-1850: The Nation and its Sections 
— By Richard Bardolph; Federal Records of World 
War II — By E. G. Roberts. 



The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX JANUARY, 1952 Number 1 

By Douglas LeTell Rights 

Adelaide Lisetta Fries, a native of Salem, North Carolina, was 
born November 12, 1871, in a town rich in tradition and, since 
its founding in 1766, well provided with cultural advantages. 

Her parents, John W. and Agnes Sophia de Schweinitz Fries, 
were prominent in the community and devoted members of the 
Moravian Church. Her family had long been among the leaders 
of the Unitas Fratrum, or Moravian Church, dating on the one 
side to Michael Jaeschke, a refugee who came from Bohemia to 
settle on the estate of Count Zinzendorf in the early eighteenth 
century, and on the other side to Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf 
himself, who has been called "Father of the Renewed Moravian 

Further mention should be made of the father, whose in- 
fluence was strong in the development of her professional 
interest and in determining the main direction of her talents. 
John W. Fries combined the qualifications of a businessman and 
a scholar. He was an industrial leader, manufacturer, banker, 
and churchman, but he found time also for scholarly pursuits 
and was a trustee of the University of North Carolina, Salem 
College, and other institutions. His encouragement and advice 
were welcome to the gifted daughter and she acknowledged her 
debt to him in the dedication of one of her volumes to "My 
companion in the silent places of historical research." 

As John Henry Boner, the poet, described it, the Salem of 
his youth was 

A little town with grassy ways 

And shady streets where life hums low. 

1 A paper read at the meeting of the Historical Society of North Carolina, Winston-Salem, 
October 20, 1950. 


2 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The community retained much of this atmosphere of tran- 
quillity in the youth of Adelaide Fries, with interests centered 
in church and school. She attended Salem Academy and grad- 
uated in 1888. Two years later she received the degree of 
Bachelor of Arts from Salem College. 

Early in life she became interested in historical research. 
Twice she visited Europe and on these tours abroad she spent 
considerable time studying the collection of valuable material 
in the Moravian archives at the ancient center of the renewed 
Moravian Church in Saxony. The first visit was in 1899 and 
the second in 1909. 

On September 26, 1911, she was appointed archivist for the 
Southern Province of the Moravian Church in America, and for 
nearly forty years she rendered excellent service in this position. 

Her appointment did not bring an easy task. The ancient 
records, beginning in North Carolina in 1752, were remarkable 
for their abundance, care in preparation, and scope of review, 
but they were scattered here and there and subject to abuse. 
Like the lost books of Livy, there was a gap in the records of 
a congregation dating from colonial days — a loss which, accord- 
ing to tradition, was caused by the pastor of an early period 
who used the missing pages for lighting his pipe. An original 
letter, signed by President George Washington and addressed 
with complimentary message to the inhabitants of the town of 
Salem, she discovered by chance tucked away in a pigeonhole 
of the desk of the church warden. With characteristic thorough- 
ness she assembled from offices, schools, pastors' studies, and 
other sources a great collection unrivalled in the state's com- 
munity histories. 

She established the first independent archives building and 
moved the collection there, and much later she superintended the 
preparation of another building suited for protection of material 
and for accommodation of students in their study, and here her 
final years of labor were passed. 

Her office was always open to those who sought information 
about Salem, or any other subject of historical nature. She had 
a passion for accuracy which characterizes a true archivist but 
she combined with this a desire to help anyone who was inter- 
ested in seeking information in the books and manuscripts that 

Adelaide Lisetta Fries 3 

abounded in her collection. In her personal diary she recorded 
one day: "There were four visitors at the archives today — two 
students engaged in research, one caller investigating a family 
tree, and a visitor who did not know when it was time to leave." 

An added difficulty appears in the archivist's office in Salem 
because the early records of the community for nearly a century, 
comprising perhaps 15,000 pages, were written in German, and 
the handwriting, often cramped and diminutive, was in script 
of the time. Although she had little knowledge of the language 
through study in school, Dr. Fries mastered the situation. Pains- 
takingly she studied the language and became proficient in trans- 
lation, as her numerous volumes and papers bear witness. 

As an author she achieved national recognition. In the library 
catalogue of the University of North Carolina-Duke University 
there are twenty-three card references. The first volume pub- 
lished by her was the history of Forsyth County, in 1898, and 
interestingly enough, the last was a volume edited by her with 
the assistance of five coeditors, entitled Forsyth, a County on the 
March. This last was written as the centennial history of Forsyth 
County and was awarded the silver cup for the best county 
history written in 1949. 

Among other publications were The Moravians in Georgia, 
Funeral Chorales of the Unitas Fratrum, The Town Builders, 
Some Moravian Heroes, and Moravian Customs — Our Inherit- 
ance. She edited Bishop Edward Rondthaler's Memorabilia of 
Fifty Years. In her last year she completed a booklet, Distinctive 
Customs and Practices of the Moravian Church. Numerous ar- 
ticles written by her were published in The North Carolina 
Historical Review, the Wachovia Moravian, the University of 
North Carolina Magazine, and other publications. 

Her monumental works were The Road to Salem, published 
by the University of North Carolina Press, and the Records of 
the Moravians in North Carolina, published by the North Caro- 
lina Historical Commission and later by the State Department 
of Archives and History. The former is an historical novel for 
which she was signally honored in 1944 by being awarded the 
Mayflower Cup, presented annually to the North Carolinian 
adjudged to have written the best book during the year. The 
latter work, consisting of seven published volumes and an eighth 

4 The North Carolina Historical Review 

in process of completion, contains the English translation from 
the German records of the Moravian churches in North Caro- 
lina, beginning with the year 1752. 

Her abundant labors were not confined to the seclusion of 
the archives. She was the recipient of many honors. From 1905 
to 1934 she was president of the Salem College Alumnae Asso- 
ciation. She helped organize and became president of the North 
Carolina Federation of Women's Clubs. She served as president 
of the North Carolina State Literary and Historical Association, 
and in 1947 she was elected president of the North Carolina 
Historical Society, which she helped reorganize. She was listed 
in Who's Who in America and in the Biographical Quarterly of 
London. In 1916 she was awarded the degree of Master of Arts 
at Salem College. Three times the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Letters was conferred on her : first in 1932 by Moravian College ; 
again in May, 1945, by Wake Forest College ; and the next month 
by the University of North Carolina, at which time she was 
pleased to wear the same academic gown worn by her father 
when he received a similar degree from the University. 

In addition to these honors she was a member of the American 
Association for State and Local History, the North Carolina 
Folklore Society, the North Carolina Society for the Preserva- 
tion of Antiquities, the National Genealogical Society, and the 
Institute of American Genealogy. She was a member of the 
board of directors of the Wachovia Historical Society, a former 
president of the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the 
Home Church, and an honorary member of the Winston-Salem 
Altrusa Club. 

Though she did not aspire to the distinction, she became a 
public speaker of acknowledged repute and was noted for her 
good sense, adaptability, felicity of expression, and inspiration, 
combined always with the voice of authority. 

It was ever a keen delight to her to engage in unraveling 
mysteries of an historical nature. As an example, in her last 
days she was engaged in solving the mystery of an old printing 
press. In the Wachovia Museum there is an ancient hand press 
with the notation that it was used to print proclamations of 
Lord Cornwallis in Hillsboro. Somehow Dr. Fries seized upon 
this statement and sensed that it was not correct. With the zeal 

Adelaide Lisetta Fries 5 

of a sleuth of Scotland Yard she entered upon investigation. 
She made contacts with the University library, the State De- 
partment of Archives and History, the Library of Congress, 
Franklin Institute, and many other sources of authority, in- 
cluding the Public Record Office in London, England, which gave 
her assurance that Lord Cornwallis issued his proclamations at 
Hillsboro in handwriting. Death came before the mystery was 
solved, but she laid the groundwork that resulted in the identifi- 
cation of the printing press as a Ramage press, one of only 
seventeen early American presses known to be in existence in 
the country today. 

It was her privilege to be occupied with her accustomed duties 
until a few hours before her death. After a brief illness she fell 
peacefully asleep Tuesday morning, November 29, 1949. 

The memoir prepared by her pastor, in addition to listing her 
accomplishments as archivist and historian, included these state- 
ments : 

She loved flowers and her garden; she always had a story to 
tell to little children, and she possessed a sense of humor that 
was quite remarkable. 

As the years passed she was aware of her lessened physical 
strength but she never grew old in her outlook upon life or in 
her attitude toward her friends and acquaintances. When she 
was compelled to spend a number of weeks in the hospital several 
years ago, she never murmured or complained. She was only 
grateful for the care which was given her. She was a gracious 
and generous soul. 

The following publications were written or edited by Adelaide 
Lisetta Fries : 

"Salem Female Academy," The North Carolina University Magazine 
(Chapel Hill), XIII (October, 1893), 16-24. 

Forsyth County. (Winston: Stewart's Printing House, 1898. Pp. 132.) 

Historical Sketch of Salem Female Academy. (Salem: Crist and Keehln, 
1902. Pp. 32.) 

Funeral Chorales of the Unitas Fratrum or Moravian Church. (Winston- 
Salem: 1905. Pp. 23.) 

The Moravians in Georgia, 1735-17 UO. (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 
1905. Pp. 252.) 

"Frederick William von Marshall," Biographical History of North Caro- 
lina (Greensboro: Charles L. Van Noppen, 1905), II, 237-239. 

The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence as Mentioned in Records 
of Wachovia. (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1907. Reprinted from 
The Wachovia Moravian for April, 1906. Pp. 11.) 

6 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Der North Carolina Land und Colonie Etablissement," The North Caro- 
lina Booklet, IX (April, 1910), 119-214. 

The Town Builders. (Winston-Salem: 1915. Pp. 19.) 

"An Early Fourth of July Celebration," Journal of American History, IX 
(July, 1915), 469-474. 

Records of the Moravians in North Carolina. 7 volumes. (Raleigh: North 
Carolina Historical Commission, 1922-1947. Vol. I, 1752-1771 [1922], pp. 
511; Vol. II, 1752-1775 [1925], pp. viii, 514-973; Vol. Ill, 1776-1779 [1926], 
pp. 975-1490; Vol. IV, 1780-1783 [1930], pp. 1491.1962; Vol. V, 1784-1792 
[1941], pp. ix, 1963-2450; Vol. VI, 1793-1808 [1943], pp. x, 2451-3017; 
Vol. VII, 1809-1822 [Raleigh: North Carolina Department of Archives and 
History, 1947], pp. x, 3021-3612.) 

"The Renewal of the Unity of Brethren," Moravian Bicentenary Pam- 
phlets, No. 1. (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Committee on Popular Moravian 
Literature, 1922. Pp. 1-24.) 

"Autobiography and Memoirs of Adam Spach and his Wife," in Descend- 
ants of Adam Spach. Compiled by Henry Wesley Foltz. (Winston-Salem: 
Wachovia Historical Society, 1924. Pp. 202). 

"The Lure of Historical Research," North Carolina Historical Review, I 
(April, 1924), 121-137. 

"A History of Hope Congregation, in North Carolina," Indiana Magazine 
of History, XXVI (December, 1930), 279-287. 

"The Moravian Contribution to Colonial North Carolina," North Carolina 
Historical Review, VII (January, 1930), 1-14. 

"Travel Journal of Charles A. Van Vleck, 1826," North Carolina His- 
torical Review, VIII (April, 1931), 187-206. 

"North Carolina Certificates of the Revolutionary War Period," North 
Carolina Historical Review, IX (July, 1932), 229-241. 

"Dr. Hans Martin Kalberlahn," Southern Medicine and Surgery, XCVI 
(October, 1934), 540-543. 

Moravian Customs — Our Inheritance. (Winston-Salem: 1936. Pp. 62.) 

Some Moravian Heroes. (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Christian Education 
Board of the Moravian Church, 1936. Pp. 118.) 

"Report of the Brethren Abraham Steiner and Friedrich Christian Von 
Schweinitz of Their Journey to the Cherokee Nation and in the Cumberland 
Settlements in the State of Tennessee, from 28th October to 28th December, 
1799," North Carolina Historical Review, XXI (October, 1944), pp. 330-375. 

The Road to Salem. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press, 1944. Pp. 317.) 

Distinctive Customs and Practices of the Moravian Church. (Bethlehem, 
Pennsylvania: Comenius Press, 1949. Pp. 64.) 

Forsyth, A County on the March. (Chapel Hill: The University of North 
Carolina Press, 1949. Pp. 248.) 

Parallel Lines in Piedmont North Carolina Quaker and Moravian History: 
The Historical Lecture delivered at the Two Hundred and Fifty-Second 
Session of Noi-th Carolina Yearly Meeting, Eighth Month, the Third, 1949. 
(N. p., North Carolina Friends Historical Society, n. d. Pp. 16.) 

Adelaide Lisetta Fries 7 

The following works were written or edited in conjunction 
with others : 

The Moravian Church: Yesterday and Today. (Raleigh: Edwards and 
Broughton, 1926. Pp. xi, 154.) With J. Kenneth Pfohl. 

Edward Rondthaler, The Memorabilia of Fifty Years: 1877 to 1927. 
Foreword by Adelaide L. Fries, H. A. Pfohl, Thomas E. Kapp, and Rufus 
A. Shore. (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1928. Pp. xii, 520.) 

Edward Rondthaler, Appendix to the Memorabilia of Fifty Years. Fore- 
word by Adelaide L. Fries, H. A. Pfohl, Thomas E. Kapp, and Rufus A. 
Shore. (Raleigh: Edwards and Broughton, 1931. Pp. 58.) 

Guide to the Manuscripts in the Archives of the Moravian Church in 
America, Southern Province. Prepared by the North Carolina Historical 
Records Survey, Division of Community Service Programs, Works Progress 
Administration (Raleigh: The North Carolina Historical Records Survey, 
1942. Pp. vii, 138.) 


By James S. Purcell 

An interesting chapter in the Kulturgeschichte of early North 
Carolina recounts the activities of a colorful colporteur, the 
Reverend Mason Locke Weems, who for two decades travelled 
throughout the state. The journeys of this zealous bookselling 
parson, better known as the highly imaginative biographer of 
George Washington, can be traced in his letters, 1 but the story 
becomes considerably more enlightening with the addition of 
notices in contemporary newspapers and comments in letters and 
diaries of North Carolinians with whom he had dealings. 

The Parson's interest in North Carolina as a book market first 
became evident in the closing years of the eighteenth century. 
The Virginia & North Carolina Almanac, For the Year of Our 
Lord 1800 . . . made its appearance, doubtless, in the fall of 1799. 2 
This bipartite almanac of thirty-seven pages was printed in 
Fredericksburg, Virginia, "for the Rev. Mason L. Weems." It was 
obviously an economical bid by Weems for a part of the lucrative 
almanac monopoly enjoyed in the upper part of North Carolina 
by Abraham Hodge, editor of the North-Carolina Journal at 
Halifax. The title page was an almost exact reproduction of that 
of Weems's Virginia almanac; the text varied only in that the 
court calendar included the courts of North Carolina and Mary- 
land as well as those of Virginia. The reading matter "designed 
for entertainment and instruction" was the same — unsigned ex- 
cerpts from Weems's own Hymen's Recruiting Serjeant? 

But Weems's chief interest in North Carolina in the early years 
of the nineteenth century was in securing subscriptions to Chief 
Justice Marshall's monumental Life of Washington which had 

1 Emily Ellsworth Skeel, Mason Locke. Weems, His Works and Ways (New York, 1929). 
This rare work was begun by Mrs. Skeel's brother, Paul Leicester Ford. There are three 
volumes; the letters, with copious notes, appear in the second and third volumes, of which 
only 300 copies were printed. 

Mason Locke Weems (October 11, 1759-May 23, 1825), Episcopal clergyman, book agent, 
publisher, and writer, was born in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. He was admitted to 
the Anglican priesthood, September 12, 1784, and served parishes in Maryland and Virginia, 
notably Pohick Church (and thus became "Formerly Rector of Mt. Vernon Parish"). For 
thirty-one years, from 1794 until his death in Beaufort, South Carolina, he was a zestful 
bookseller, chiefly as the agent of Mathew Carey of Philadelphia, wandering up and down 
the eastern seaboard but maintaining his family of ten children among his wife's people in 
Dumfries, Virginia. 

2 Copy in library of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass. 

8 Hymen's Recruiting Serjeant, Weems's "sweet persuasions to wedlock," was published 
in two parts, the first in 1799 and the second in 1800. This pamphlet, with The Drunkard's 
Looking Glass (1812) and God's Revenge Against Adultery (1815), appears in Mrs. Skeel's 
edition of Three Discourses by Mason Locke Weems (New York, 1929). 


A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 9 

been announced for publication by C. P. Wayne of Philadelphia. 
In the early fall of 1802 Wayne had advertised in a North Caro- 
lina newspaper : 

Life of General Washington 
The Subscriber 
Having purchased for publishing it by subscription. . . . The 
work will be handsomely printed, with a new type, on vellum 
paper, hot-pressed, to be comprised in four or five octavo volumes 
of from 450 to 500 pages each. . . . The price to subscribers will 
be three Dollars each Volume in Boards; and the Price of one 
Volume to be paid in advance, on subscribing ; this advance to be 
continued with each Volume, until the work is completed. . . . 4 

To this notice Wayne added a note : "The Publisher intending to 
visit many of the large towns of the United States, for the pur- 
pose of obtaining Subscribers, declines at present employing 
Agents for that purpose." Weems's persuasive powers must 
have worked, however, for he was soon the southern representa- 
tive of Wayne and about a year later appeared in North Caro- 
lina. 5 On January 28, 1804, he wrote to Wayne from Fayetteville, 
where he found himself engaged in supplementing the subscrip- 
tions already obtained by the local bookseller: 

I came to this town 11 o'clock this morning, — found that a 
Mr. McRae (Post Master) had obtained 15 subs. This dum- 
f ounded me somewhat — but, rallying, I fell to work, and greatly 
to my surprise, obtain'd 22 more. Mr. Grove (Member of Con- 
gress, last session) says I may obtain a vast many more, if I can 
but attend at the Superior Court here 23 of April. . . . 6 

Weems prided himself on knowing what his buyers wanted — 
"feeling the pulse" was his phrase. He insisted that fine bindings 
be sent to this territory. Recognizing the turbulent political 
situation in North Carolina in the early 1800's, he wrote: 

4 Raleigh Register, October 19, 1802. 

5 From his letters it would be thought that Weems travelled south of Virginia for the 
first time in 1804. But it is likely that he was in Georgia as early as 1797. The Augusta 
Chronicle, June 13, 1797, states that the Rev. M. L. Weems married a couple in Burke County, 
Georgia, on May 28, 1797. 

6 Skeel, Weems, II, 290. Duncan MacRae, long-time postmaster, bookseller, and general 
merchant of Fayetteville, advertised books for sale in the Raleigh Minerva, August 13, 1804, 
and the Fayetteville North Carolina Intelligencer, October 11, 1806. Records of his trans- 
actions with Mathew Carey, Philadelphia publisher and bookseller, from 1812 until 1818 can 
be seen in the collection of the Mathew Carey accounts at the American Antiquarian Society, 
Worcester, Mass. 

Before the State Assembly of 1806 enacted a law creating a superior court in each county, 
Fayetteville was one of the eight towns in the state where superior court sessions were held 
twice a year. 

William Barry Grove was the leading Federalist of the Fayetteville area; he was a member 
of Congress from 1791 until 1803. 

10 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"Nothing, nothing will do either Feds or Denis but Calf binding." 
Again he warned Wayne from Fayetteville : "Take notice, No- 
body will subscribe for the work in boards." And from Halifax 
he was asking for "cataracts of Books — Gilt and all Gilt." 7 

Although he was chiefly concerned with getting subscriptions 
to Marshall's Life of Washington, Weems had other irons in the 
fire. From Fayetteville he reported to Wayne: "I have taken a 
light carriage with a driver to vend some little Books while I 
shd be, (for my own sake) employ d in getting Subs to Washing- 
ton." 8 Meanwhile, he was also selling books for Mathew Carey, 
the Philadelphia bookseller with whom he maintained an oft- 
strained connection for more than twenty years. After a week 
in Fayetteville he left for Wilmington and wrote Carey from 
there : "As I have your little stage with me (having parted with 
my own . . .) I shall be willing that Mrs. Weems' brother, who 
drives me, shall try to vend some Bibles for you." 9 He requested 
that a box of assorted books be sent him "also my 4 [00] or 500 
Hymen recruitg Serjeant no. 2, I mean the 'Nest of Love/ In 
these warm latitudes there is a great call for both Nos but the 
1st is unfortunately run out." 

Weems, with his fiddle, continued his journey south, can- 
vassed parts of South Carolina and Georgia, and in June re- 
turned northward through piedmont North Carolina. At 
Salisbury he presented a letter of introduction from John Chest- 
nut of Camden, South Carolina, to General John Steele, former 
Comptroller of the United States. Chestnut wrote : 

The Revd Mr. Weems is on his way northward, and purposes 
taking Salisbury on his way, and being a Stranger in that town, 
I take the liberty to recommend him to your civilities & attention. 

He is procuring Subscriptions for the Life of General Wash- 
ington wch will soon be published — and I presume the life of that 
great & worthy man — Written by Judge Marshall, will be eagerly 
sought for by every enlightened American. . . . 10 

The results of the Weems-Steele association will be told later. 

7 Weems to Wayne, Halifax, N. C, February 9, 1805, Skeel, Weems, II, 313. 

8 Skeel, Weems, II, 291. 

9 Skeel, Weems, II, 292. Carey's Family Bible was an exceedingly popular item; it was 
frequently advertised in North Carolina newspapers. Weems once wrote Carey: "I could 
make a good living by the Bible & Washington [Weems's . . . Washington] alone." Skeel 
Weems, III, 73. 

10 Chestnut to Steele, Camden, S. C, June 17, 1804, H. M. Wagstaff, ed., The Papers of 
John Steele (Raleigh, 1924), I, 435. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 11 

From Chapel Hill, Weems complained again to Wayne of a 
matter that he had met with at Fayetteville — that he was forced 
to compete with the local booksellers. Consequently he advised 
his employer: 

... I beg you not to send any books to any town for my Sub- 
scribers. You wd also very seriously oblige me if you were to 
furnish to your Post Masters, Book venders &c &c who have 
taken subs, no more copies than for their subscribers. I.E., I shd 
be glad to see this business confin'd (if possible) to Mr. Ormond 
and myself. By chipping & frittering it away among a thousand 
little whippers in, you will make it uninteresting to us, and hence 
must ensue a languor dangerous to the whole enterprize. 11 

He also told Wayne of his plans to take New Bern on his way to 
the South — "Reports of well-informed Persons make that place 
worth 80 or 100 copies" — and begged him not to send any books 
to the booksellers there. 

The beginning of the following year, 1805, saw Weems again 
in North Carolina, writing to Wayne from Halifax for "cataracts 
of Books" and promising to remit three or four hundred dollars 
from Warrenton. 12 A few days later he was in Warrenton calling 
for more books : "I shall want a host of books this campaign." 13 
From Tarboro, ten days later, he tallied up his remittances and 
remarked: "Well 3000$ in 10 weeks is not quite so bad — and 
hardly any books to boot ! ! ! What might I not do, well kept in 
blast [ballast?] ? O think of that and reform!" 14 

Weems was having other troubles too. The first edition of the 
volumes he had promised to the subscribers — volumes one and 
two — was exhausted and he was having to deliver the second 
edition, which was received with bad grace. When he was calling 
for books, Weems had repeatedly pleaded with Wayne, "for your 
own sake, all of edit. No. 1." From Tarboro he tried another ap- 
proach: "Wou'd God you cou'd send the 2d edit, to Ormond & 
the Puritans of the North. 'Tis their profession to bear & for- 
bear and to do good for evil. The people in the South are Infidels. 
They will run horn mad if you vex 'em in the Life of Wash." 15 

" Weems to Wayne, Chapel Hill, N. C, July 11, 1804, Skeel, Weems, II, 300. John Ormond 
was Weems's less colorful counterpart in the northern states. 

12 Weems to Wayne, Halifax, N. C, February 9, 1805, Skeel, Weems, II, 313. 

13 "Weems to Wayne, Warrenton, N. C, February 14, 1805, Skeel, Weems, II, 314. 
"Weems to Wayne, Tarboro, N. C, February 25, 1805, Skeel, Weems, II, 315. 

15 Skeel, Weems, II, 315. According to Weems the paper of the second edition was "so thin 
as to make the volume but half as thick as the former." 

12 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Several weeks later, in New Bern he reiterated this theme : "The 
people there [in the North] are more religious than they are 
here, and wd not curse & swear so sadly under what they might 
deem ill treatment." 16 

On this 1805 jaunt the Parson evidently was alone in his 
travels. From New Bern he wrote Wayne that he was returning 
"some little miscellaneous books which I had planned and meant 
to vend for mutual benefit." He had nobody with him to attend 
to "this Tom Thumb Merchandize.' , He must devote all his time 
and efforts to the Washington and found that "the sale of this 
trumpery wd prove a most serious hindrance to the Great 
Work." 17 

The Raleigh area was evidently missed in the 1805 journey. 
The persons in the environs of the capital of the state who had 
placed their subscriptions with one of the two local booksellers 
had received their two volumes in November, 1804, and in 
March, 1805, had promise of the third. 18 Joseph Gales, the editor 
of the Raleigh Register, who with his wife, Winifred, had a 
flourishing book business, doubtless took pleasure in inserting 
this item into his local news column : 

A Subscriber wishes published the following 

How will those persons who subscribed with Mr. Weems for 
the Life of Washington, find where he is or when he means to 
deliver them their books, or how are they to get either the books 
or the money? 19 

This restive spirit in the vicinity of the capital did not inter- 
fere with the success of the bookselling Parson in other sections 
of the state. The subscription canvass of 1806 took him to the 
seaboard towns for a stay of almost three months, and profitable 
months they were. He reported to Wayne on his collections : 

Since March (the beginning of) I have sent you, as follows from 

w Weems to Wayne, New Bern, N. C, March 10, 1805, Skeel, Weems, II, 316. 
i 7 Skeel, Weems, II, 316. 

18 Joseph Gales announced on November 6, 1804, that "Subscribers to the Life of Washing- 
ton . . . may have their books on application." Raleigh Register, November 12, 1804. William 
Boylan, bookseller and editor of the Minerva, advertised that at the sitting of the legislature, 
November 8, 1804, he would have for dispersal the first and second volumes. Minerva, Oc- 
tober 29, 1804. 

19 Raleigh Register, October 14, 1805. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 13 

Norfolk 921 Newbern 500 

Warrenton 654 Wilmington 500 

Louisburg 100 Do 500 

Washington [N. C] 50 do draft on D.Ware 742.70 

Do 100 

1,725 Do 88 

now Charleston 400 

4,555.70, 20 

Weems doubtless kept out his own commission, usually twenty- 
five per cent, which, if included, would indicate sales of more 
than four thousand dollars in North Carolina. This amount, while 
it bespeaks a literary interest in the state, also bears out Weems's 
modest statement about his abilities: "The world is pleased to 
say that I have talents at the subscription business." 21 

The fifth and final volume of Marshall's Life of Washington, 
excepting the promised atlas, was published in 1807. But Weems's 
work with the book in North Carolina was far from done. Many 
of his customers were complaining of non-delivery; Weems did 
"vex 'em in the Life of Wash." and they were running horn mad. 
In Edenton the Parson's defection was proclaimed in the news- 

Mr. Editor, 

Can you inform us what has become of a certain Parson 
Weems, who passed through this State some time ago fiddling 
and hawking the Life of Gen. Washington, written by Judge 
Marshall, that same Judge who is now presiding on the trial 
of Aaron Burr, and who wanted to give judgment for half of 
North Carolina in favour of the Earl of Granville's heirs? Now 
if the said Weems does not shortly let us hear from him, and 
appoint time and place when and where he will deliver the bal- 
ance of the work, or return the money he has pocketed from the 
subscribers, we shall as soon as the trial of said Burr is over, lay 
the matter bef ore the Judge himself. . . , 22 

Evidence of collective exhaustion of patience in Tarboro came to 
Wayne himself. "Sundry Inhabitants of Tarboro, N. C." — four- 
teen in number — signed the following letter of grievance : 

20 Weems to Wayne, Charleston, S. C, June 5, 1806, Skeel, Weems, II, 335. For some rea. 
son or other Weems, later in his letter, reported thus unflatteringly about a North Carolina 
town: "That Louisburg is a Devil of a place. This is the 2d time that I've been in the 
frights about it." 

21 Weems to Wayne, Norfolk, Va., January 25, 1805, "A Weems Letter," American His- 
torical Record, II (February, 1873), 82. 

22 Edenton Gazette, October 15, 1807. 

14 The North Carolina Historical Review 

We the undersigned beg leave to represent to Mr. C. P. 
Wayne — that we became Subscribers to the "Life of Washing- 
ton" & paid Mr. Weems $12 — upon receipt of the 1st and 2d 
volumes of the work — that in April 1806 we received from Mr. 
Weems the 4th volume & paid him $8 the balance of the sub- 
scription money — since which time, altho' we have repeatedly, 
through Genl. Thos. Blount made application to Mr. Weams 
[sic'] for the remaining volumes — promises to deliver them are 
all we have been able to procure. We therefore desire to know 
of Mr. Wayne whether we are to rely on Mr. Weams [sic] for 
the volumes still wanting (in which case we must abandon all 
expectation of receiving them) or whether he Mr. Wayne will 
deliver them. If the latter Dr. Battle will receive & forward them 
to us. . . . 23 

When Wayne relayed these complaints to his southern represent- 
ative, Weems answered : 

It grieves me that you should credit the "distressing accounts'' 
as you call them, that are sent to you. . . . Certainly Mr. Wayne 
you must know that the communications are from some Malig- 
nant Rascals or other — So help me God, I have separated myself 
from a most affect wife & family for 24 months & about two 
thirds of that time were spent in plying between Augusta, Wash- 
ington, Louisville, &c &c to distribute the books & receive monies 
for you ! Was I not at Georgetown 8 days — at Newbern 8 days — 
at Wilmington 6 days — with the 1.2d.3d. & 4th vols distributed 
to all who wd receive — for many swore they wou'd not receive 
till they cou'd see the last Vols & Atlass. At Fayette [ville] I had 
but a few Subs, and I beggd McCrae [MacRae] to distribute to 
them he having tendered his services thereto. . . , 24 

The conclusion of the whole matter of Weems and Marshall's 
Life of Washington was heard in the notice in the columns of an 
Edenton newspaper, September 24, 1811, nearly four years after 
the publication of the final volume: 

We are desired by the Rev. M. L. Weems, to inform the sub- 
scribers to the life of Washington, that their Books, elegantly 
finished, will be ready for delivery at our Superior Court on 
Monday next. 25 

On the same day from Warrenton, Weems wrote to Mathew 
Carey, the Philadelphian for whom he was to work full time, 

as Thomas Blount Hudson et al. to Wayne, Tarboro, N. C, May 30, 1808, Skeel, Weems, II, 

24 Weems to Wayne, Dumfries, Va., June 20, 1808, Skeel, Weems, II, 380. 

25 Edenton Gazette, September 24, 1811. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 15 

that he had just returned from the towns in eastern North 
Carolina, "Whither I went on Mr. Wayne's business, which as you 
well know, I was bound to wind up." 26 

Even while he was canvassing and collecting for Wayne, 
Weems was also peddling books for Carey. During the years 
1809 and 1810 he sold $24,000 worth of books for him in the 
South. 27 Ever zealous in his plans for Carey and himself, the 
Parson wrote to his new employer : "I pray you to spend no more 
paper, ink, nor time nor argument to persuade me to exertion 
and Perseverance in circulating Valuable Books, I am chockfull 
of Zeal burning with the Book fever and so are you." 28 Weems 
asked Carey — "10000 times begg'd" him — for permission "to go 
through 1000 neighbourhoods feeling the pulse of Preachers, 
Schoolmasters" and suiting a book assortment to the taste of the 
"Religion, Politics, and general reading of the people." 29 He told 
Carey what he desired of him — "supply me plenty of books and 
let me choose the Books & allow some reasonable seed time" — and 
expected to establish for the Philadelphia bookseller "from 2 [00] 
to 300 illuminating, moralizing book stores." 30 

In 1808 Weems was making some progress in North Carolina 
with his grandiose plans. He ignored the seaboard towns but 
recognized the possibilities of the piedmont area 31 — "the middle 
and western counties, villages, &c &c be my range." He wrote 
enthusiastically to Carey: "I shall want in toto pro tempore 
presenti . . . 1000, Peter Davis Warrenton, N. Carolina — 1000, 
Colo. Vaughan Mercht. Williamsboro No. Carolina — 2000 to 
Genl Steel (former Comptroller Genl U. S.) Salisbury, N. Caro- 
lina." 32 

26 Weems to Carey, Warrenton, N. C, September 24, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 54. 

27 William A. Bryan, ed., "Three Unpublished Letters of Parson Weems," William and 
Mary Quarterly, 2nd. series, XXXIII (July, 1943), 275. 

28 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., August 24, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 420. 

29 Weems to Carey, Columbia, S. C, December 18, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 429. 

30 Weems to Carey, Columbia, S. C, December 13, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 428. As early 
as May 22, 1806, writing to Carey from Wilmington, Weems had suggested the chain of 
bookstores: "Let me, or any other Person, establish 1, 2, or 300 very safe & judicious Little 
Book stores throughout these Southern States. These 1, 2, or 300 very safe, because well 
chosen, Gentlemen may be vending books & remitting monies at the same time. Under 
proper management, i e of Books well selected, and store keepers well chosen, I am very sure 
that immense Good may be done to the Country & immense profit may accrue to yourself." 
Skeel, Weems, II, 334. In the fall of 1811, Weems at least regarded the matter as a fait 
accompli: "3 weeks more & I shall enter on the cordon of your book stores established 2 
years ago." Weems to Carey, Warrenton, N. C, September 24, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 54. 

31 The Parson believed heartily in the idea of cheap books for all: "It is but rare that I 
want to see an Author that stands higher than a dollar." Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., 
March 25, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 398. 

32 Weems to Carey, n. p., September 29, 1818, Skeel, Weems, II, 380. 

Peter R. Davis was postmaster at Warrenton from 1805 until 1807; Colonel James Vaughan 
was a planter near Williamsboro, Granville County; and General John Steele, after retiring as 
Comptroller General in 1802, was regarded as the "most conspicuous member of the 
Federalist party in North Carolina." 

16 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In the case of General Steele, one of early North Carolina's 
favored sons, Weems's enthusiasm for bookselling seems to have 
exceeded the bounds of accepted decorum. The Parson had been 
recommended to the "civilities & attention" of the General back 
in the Life of Washington canvass days of 1804. Weems, who was 
no respector of persons, evidently presumed too much as this 
apologetic letter from Carey to Steele explains: 

Your favor of the 14th. which I read yesterday, has astonished 
me inexpressibly, & affords an additional proof of the extreme 
incorrectness of Mr. Weems's conduct, which has produced the 
most serious inconvenience & injury to me. He gave me clearly 
& explicitly to understand that you were zealously disposed, & 
even eager to cooperate with him & myself in the sale of Books — 
else> Sir, be assured I should never have troubled you with a 
Book, or with my correspondence. I had no idea that your agency 
in the business was to be merely "to request one of the Store- 
keepers to receive them" ; I assuredly believed you were to dis- 
pose of them yourself, & conceived you were a Storekeeper, or 
merchant — not a planter. Should the Books arrive, I request Sir, 
you will have them stored somewhere till I take the necessary 
steps to dispose of them. By no means deliver them to any Store- 
keeper for sale. . . , 33 

For his part Weems blamed Carey. In a later recital of his 
grievances to his employer he included this: "Nor would Genl. 
Steele of Salisbury have anything to do with three boxes sent to 
Petersburg for him, on getting your uncivil letters to him ! !" 34 

Despite such rebuffs Weems maintained that his zeal was 
"equal to that of any Adventurer in this Great Work of circu- 
lating good books & useful knowledge." 35 He complained, how- 
ever, that his plan for selling had "never yet had a fair trial." 
Carey would not let him "go forward & choose books for the 
places" but insisted on "pushing on the books at random" and 
consequently committed "errors equal to those of sending 'fiddles 
to Methodist meetinghouses.' " 36 But the Parson persevered ; 
during the summer of 1811 he was in the north central part of 
the state. Here he had more success in his dealings with his local 

33 Carey to John Steele, Philadelphia, Pa., January 24, 1810, Steele Papers, North Carolina 
Historical Society, Chapel Hill, N. C. H. M. Wagstaff, ed., The Papers of John Steele, 620, 
published this letter but erroneously read "Weaver's for "Weems." The word is clearly 

Carey need not have been quite so abject. In his youth, Steele had engaged in "practicing 
merchandising"; after his death in 1815 his widow kept the famous Steele's Tavern in 

34 Weems to Carey, Richmond, Va., November 21, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 56. 

35 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., November 23, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 57. 

36 "Weems to Carey, Lexington, Va., March 15, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 41. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 17 

agent, the prominent and wealthy Thomas Jeffreys of Red House 
in Caswell County, whose sales from the collection of books left 
with him amounted to nearly two hundred dollars. The recently 
built local academy was also to be furnished with books, at six 
cents above the Philadelphia prices. 37 

On this journey Weems went again to Louisburg, that "Devil 
of a place." His letter from there suggests the literary tastes of 
some North Carolinians in 1811 : 

I was much importuned for the following books. ... 6 Salma- 
gundi — 6 Yankee in London, and some of the latest & best 
treatises on the Military Art. And some of the newest & most 
popular pamphlets, & some droll, dashing pieces in the way of 
Biography, pictures of living manners. Wit, humor. . . . 38 

The following year the beginning of the War of 1812 curtailed 
somewhat Weems's bookselling activities in the state. Carey 
wrote him: "The declaration of war deranges all our plans. I 
must not send goods to N. or South Carolina or Georgia as no 
insurance can be made on them." 39 Weems continued with his 
plans for a trip to North Carolina to look after the books that had 
already been distributed there. The "sickly season" of the sum- 
mer of 1812 he spent in the "upper & healthy parts" of the state, 
progressing from court session to court session, selling books and 
collecting old debts. 40 The next spring, accompanied by his 
nephew, Elijah Weems, he was again hawking books at the court 
gatherings in the northern section. Two weeks later Elijah was 
left to work the court crowd at Northampton while the Parson 
went to Petersburg, Virginia, to replenish his stock, preparatory 
to assaulting Halifax. 41 

37 Weems to Carey, Red House, N. C, August 30, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 53. These books 
were to be sent from a store in Petersburg, where Weems was constantly advising Carey to 
keep a good stock of books. "From Petersburg they can be sent at any time to almost any 
part of N. Carolina." Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., September 8, 1812, Skeel, Weems, 
III, 80. 

38 Weems to Carey, Louisburg, N. C, September 4, 1811, Skeel, Weems, III, 54. Salmagundi; 
or, the Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. and Others ... by Washing- 
ton Irving, James Kirke Paulding, and William Irving was published in 1807; The Yankee 
in London, Being the First Part of a Series of Letters Written by an American Youth, 
during Nine Month's Residence in the City of London, attributed to Royall Tyler, was 
published in 1809. 

30 Carey to Weems, Philadelphia, Pa., June 12, 1812, Skeel, Weems, III, 70. 

40 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., July 15, 1812, Skeel, Weems, III, 72-73. 

41 Weems to Carey, Petersburg, Va., April 29, 1813, Skeel, Weems, III, 94. The previous 
fall the elder Weems had recommended Elijah highly to Carey: "I have an extraordinary 
young man, a Nephew, of singular activity and smartness and with a couple of thousand 
dollars in hand, who is very anxious to join me in the spring." Mrs. Skeel would have ques- 
tioned the Parson's judgment in leaving Elijah alone at Northampton; by reading between 
the lines of the letters, she decided that "Elijah's habits were uncertain and his reliability 
not above suspicion." Skeel, Weems, III, 83. 

Elijah Weems was for a short time a resident of North Carolina. Early in 1815 he opened 

18 The North Carolina Historical Review 

There are no extant records to indicate that Parson Weems 
was in North Carolina in the years between his 1813 visit and 
the early summer of 1821, when he was busy in the seaboard 
area of the state. 42 In the winter of 1821-1822 he was in the 
piedmont section, appearing with his boxes of books in Halifax, 
Murfreesboro, Greensboro, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Hillsboro. 43 
Surely he must have included some section of the state in his fate- 
ful itinerary to South Carolina, where he died on May 23, 1825. 
The obituary that appeared in the Warrenton Reporter, July 8, 
1825, is one of the standard sources of information about his 
life. 44 In the Raleigh Register, July 12, 1825, Joseph Gales wrote 
feelingly of the deceased Parson "as the author of the Life of 
Washington, and various other popular works, which have passed 
through numerous editions, and have had a most extensive circu- 
lation" ; he described him as "a man of very considerable attain- 
ment both as a scholar, a physician and divine"; but he dwelt 
most on his lifetime of bookselling: 

[He] voluntarily commenced a career of incessant bodily toil, to 
disseminate moral and religious books in various remote and 
destitute portions of the country. From Pennsylvania to the 
frontiers of Georgia was the principal theatre of his indefati- 
gable labors, and it is supposed on good authority, that in the 
course of his life he has been instrumental in circulating nearly 
a million copies of the scriptures and other valuable works. That 
in this laborious calling he was principally actuated by an ex- 
panded philanthropy, is proved by his entire neglect of the 
means of accumulating a large fortune and dying in compara- 
tive poverty. . . . He finally fell a martyr to his arduous exertions 
to do good. . . . 

The influence of Parson Weems on the reading habits of North 
Carolinians in the early 1800's was not limited to his bookselling 
activities, telling as they were. Weems's own moralizing works, 
many of them published by Carey, were popular, some of them 

a bookstore in Raleigh, making three in the town of less than two thousand inhabitants, 
one-third of which were slaves. Several months later he married a Raleigh girl, Miss Mary 
Shaw (Raleigh Register, November 17, 1815), but shortly was selling his stock at cost, "ex- 
pecting to move to the North." Raleigh Register, January 26, 1816. 

42 Carolina Centinel (New Bern, N. C), June 16, 1821. 

* 3 Weems to Carey, Halifax, N. C, December 13, 1821, Skeel, Weems, III, 438; Weems to 
Carey, Murfreesboro, N. C, December 29, 1821, Skeel, Weems, III, 329; Weems to Carey, 
Raleigh, N. C, January 5, 1822, Skeel, Weems, III, 330. 

44 Reprinted in Skeel, Weems, II, 439. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 19 

exceedingly so, in the state. 45 North Carolina absorbed copy after 
copy, under one title or another, of Weems's perennial Life of 
George Washington. 4 * Joseph Gales received 150 copies for his 
bookstore in 1808. 47 The next year five hundred more copies were 
sent to Raleigh and one hundred to Fayetteville. 48 Doubtless the 
books consigned to Raleigh were sold despite Carey's ineffective 
merchandizing, for which he was taken to task by Weems : "We 
shall be ruined from your inattention to my earnest & reiterated 
intreaties. Why were not Elegant Advertisements of this work, 
with letters critical & commendatory by Lee &c &c printed on 
colour'd paper, sent in the box?" 49 The Parson's Washington had 
already been publicized somewhat in Raleigh. In the Minerva of 
October 7, 1805, Boylan's North Carolina Almanack for 1806 was 
advertised as containing "Extracts from the Rev. M. L. Weems 
History of the Life of George Washington." 

The Parson believed strongly in the moralizing influence of 
books. But he sagely advised Carey : "Let the Moral and Religious 
be as highly dulcified as possible." 50 To this end Weems wrote 
several palliatives — "my little Serio comical mello dramatical 
pamphlets," he called them. These he circulated in North Carolina 
as well as the other southern states. One hundred and fifty copies 
of the one he referred to as "my Mary Findley" were sent to 
Raleigh in the fall of 1808. 51 This account of wife murder in 

45 On July 25, 1813, Weems, with evident petulance, wrote Carey from Dumfries, Virginia: 
"All the books that I shall ever want of yours, will be the Family Bible & Washington 
[Weems's]. These with some heavy subscription book & my pamphlets, will serve my turn." 
Skeel, Weems, III, 97. 

46 The title of the original work, published about 1800, was The Life and Memorable 
Actions of George Washington. Astute appraiser of humanity that he was, Weems must 
have noted the limited appeal of Marshall's ponderous Washington and pushed his own 
ancedotal account as being more suitable for reaching the really wide market of the masses — 
his aim in bookselling. See William A. Bryan, "The Genesis of Weems' 'Life of Washing- 
ton,' " Americana, XXXVI (April, 1942), 147-167. 

47 Weems to Carey, Raleigh, N. C, September 29, 1808, Skeel, Weems, II, 382. 

48 Weems to Carey, Raleigh, N. C, November 27, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 424; Weems to 
Carey, Columbia, S. C, December 13, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 427. 

49 Major General Henry (Light-Horse Harry) Lee's commendation of The Life of George 
Washington, first printed in the North American (Baltimore) March 18, 1809, was used on 
the title page of the ninth edition (1809) and thereafter. At this time Weems's book was 
selling phenomenally. On January 7, 1809, Weems had written Carey about the printing 
of five thousand copies "of your spring edition of the Life of Washington for Petersburg, 
Norfolk, Halifax, Edinton — Tarboro, Washington [N. C], Newbern, Fayette [ville], Wil- 
mington, Geo. Town, Charleston, &c &c." Skeel, Weems, II, 384. Weems knew well that 
his book was selling. In one of their periodic fits of mutual resentment he taunted Carey: 
"And let me tell you, once for all, that if you are tired of the connexion I shall not use 
argument to bind you to it. Give me back my little book, or as Nathan wd say, my little 
ewe-lamb and take all your thousand of gigantic authors to yourself." Weems to Carey, 
Columbia, S. C, December 13, 1809, Skeel, Weems, II, 427. 

50 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va„ June 18, 1797, Skeel, Weems, II, 44. 

As a pioneer in the field of writing for the young and self-educated, Weems deserves a 
place in the annals of American literature. 

51 Weems to Carey, Raleigh, N. C, September 29, 1808, Skeel, Weems, II, 382. 

In the "very Handsome collection of Wax Figures as large as life" that was on display at 
Capt. William Scott's tavern in Raleigh, December 17-23, was "Mary Findley, who was 
drowned by her husband only eight weeks after marriage." Star (Raleigh), December 20, 

20 The North Carolina Historical Review 

South Carolina, God's Revenge against Murder; or, the Drown' d 
Wife of Stephen's Creek . . . (1807), sold for twenty-five cents. 
When this pamphlet was republished in 1809 with a slight change 
of title, it was noted to this extent in the Raleigh Star's column 
of brief book notices called "Literary Intelligence" : 

The Rev. Mason L. Weems, well known in the Southern States 
as agent for procuring subscribers for the Life of Washington, 
author of "Hymen's Recruiting Serjeant or a Matrimonial Tattoo 
for the Bachelors," and several other whimsical and amusing 
publications, has lately published "The Drown'd Wife, being a 
faithful history of the beautiful, but unfortunate Miss Polly 
Middleton, who, after bestowing herself with a fortune of four 
thousand dollars on a young husband, Mr. Edward Findley, was 
barbarously drowned by him in the eighth week after marriage." 

Doctor Ramsay gives the following character of the work: 

"No man can read this pamphlet without having his risible 
faculties often excited — no man can read it without having his 
horror for vice and his respect for Virtue increased. The Writer 
has the art of blending instruction with amusement. While he 
keeps his readers in high humor by the frolicsomeness of his 
manner, he is inculcating upon them important moral and reli- 
gious truths, conducive to their present and future happiness." 52 

Two other pamphlets in the Revenge series were more closely 
connected with North Carolina. God's Revenge Against Adultery 
Aivfully Exemplified in the Following Cases of American Crime 
. . . (1815) included as one of its deterrents the case of "The 
Elegant James ONeale, Esq. (North Carolina,) who, for Se- 
ducing the Beautiful Miss Matilda Lestrange, Was Killed by Her 
Brother." This twenty-three-page story in the seduction tradition 
was based on a tragic incident, doubtless related to Weems in his 
travels, that took place in the Wilmington area around 1790. 
Weems, and perhaps the actual circumstances, made sure that 
seduction was the capital crime; the avenging brother was im- 
prisoned for manslaughter, but as womankind's hero (soon to be 
pardoned by Governor Alexander Martin) in a perfumed and 

52 Star, February 9, 1809. Some of the North Carolina newspaper editors tried to keep 
their readers informed of Weems's activities. Gales's Raleigh Register, August 4, 1806, 
reported: "Mr. M. L. Weems, now at Charleston, S. C. has published in the Times, two 
columns of commendatory matter upon the character of the late venerable, and justly 
lamented George Wythe, Chancellor of Virginia." 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 21 

beflowered cell. 53 The other North Carolinian that Weems used in 
his crime-does-not-pay series was not written up so extensively. 
In God's Revenge against Gambling Exemplified in the Miserable 
Lives and Untimely Deaths of a Number of Persons of Both 
Sexes . . . (1810), the three-page account of "T. Alston, Esq. 
(N. C.) who, from Gambling was shot by Capt. Johnson" was 
only one of six examples of gamesters. Not only did Thomas 
Alston of Halifax have to compete with gentlemen from Virginia 
and Maryland but also with such worthies as Marie Antoinette 
and Fanny Braddock, sister of General Braddock. 

Another moralistic pamphlet of his own composition that 
Weems sold in North Carolina was The Drunkard's Looking- 
Glass Reflecting a Faithful Likeness of the Drunkard . . . (1812) . 
In the fall of the year of publication the author was at his home 
in Dumfries, Virginia, awaiting the arrival of a shipment of his 
pamphlet with which he "wd set off immediately to N. Caro- 
lina/' 54 Three weeks later, still waiting, he wrote exasperatedly 
to Carey : "But for the faint hope it may do some good to Youth 
I coud almost wish I had never written that illfated pamphlet — 
tho' it outsells anything I have lately written." 55 

Two of Weems's pieces written primarily for the South Caro- 
lina market circulated to a limited extent in North Carolina. In 
1808, one hundred and fifty copies of his little pamphlet on 
Francis Marion, the genesis of his The Life of Francis Marion 
(1810) , were sent to Gales's bookstore in Raleigh. 56 Several years 
later, the Parson's account of an occurrence in the religious life 
of contemporary South Carolina was advertised regularly for 
nearly six months in a New Bern newspaper : 

Just Received and for Sale 

at S. Hall's Book Store 

Price 25 cents 

The Devil Done Over; or the Grand Revival in Old Edgefield 
in 1809, wherein seven hundred souls were added to the Baptist 
church in nine Months. — Taken chiefly from the Minutes of the 
Rev'd Samuel Marsh, Robert Marsh, John Landrom and Samuel 

53 The copy of this pamphlet owned by the Duke University Library is inscribed thus: 
"Powell McRae. Presented by author, Jany. 1st 1823." Powell was Duncan MacRae's oldest 

The companion piece to the O'Neale affair was the case of "The Accomplished Dr. 
Theodore Wilson, (Delaware) who for Seducing Mrs. Nancy Wiley, Had His Brains Blown 
out by her Husband." 

54 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., September 8, 1812, Skeel, Weems, III, 80. 

55 Weems to Carey, Dumfries, Va., September 29, 1812, Skeel, Weems, III, 82. 

56 Weems to Carey, Raleigh, N. C, September 29, 1808, Skeel, Weems, II, 382. 

22 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Cartledge, who were the Honoured Instruments of the Glorious 

By M. L. Weems, Formerly Rector of General Washington's 
Parish. 57 

In addition to writing and selling books, Weems at times pub- 
lished them. His most enduring venture in the publishing line 
was the Rev. Hugh Blair's Sermons . . . , "Reprinted for the Rev. 
M. L. Weems," by Samuel and John Adams in Baltimore, 1793. 
Weems's edition of Blair was offered for sale in Wilmington in 
1803. 58 The Parson attested to its popularity in the South when 
he wrote Wayne : "I beg you to send no more Blair's to any place 
North of North Carolina." 59 One hundred copies of this edition 
of the Scottish divine were sent to Edenton early in 1812 along 
with "a cargo of valuable books" consigned by Carey. Weems 
was responsible for yet another religious book, Sermons on Im- 
portant Subject by the Late Reverend and Pious Samuel 
Davies . . . , "Printed for Mason L. Weems," in Baltimore in 
1816. Weems's edition was doubtless the result of an observation 
he once made to Carey regarding the sermons of "the Pulpit 
Henry of Virginia" : "This is a book in great demand in all these 
S. States." 60 

It was quite possible that at one time Weems was toying with 
the idea of publishing the work of a North Carolinian, General 
William R. Davie's "Notes on the Revolution." The copy of this 
manuscript in the North Carolina Historical Society in Chapel 
Hill has this note, dated January 7, 1810, attached : 

If Genl Davie will please to have transcribed in a round legible 
hand the f ollowg valuable documents, and forward them to me to 
care of Doct. Dalco, Charleston, he will confer a very great favor 
on his much oblig 

M. L. Weems 
NB The sooner the better; at any rate by the 15th Feb 1810. 

Or perhaps the Parson intended enlivening the Notes in the 

57 Carolina Federal Republican, January 4, 1812, et seq. Mrs. Skeel maintains that this 
series of advertisements is the sole trace of this pamphlet. Skeel, Weems, I, 232. 

68 Wilmington Gazette, June 9, 1803. Blair's Lectures on Rhetorick and Belles Lettres 
(1777) was advertised more often in the state newspapers of the period than were the 

159 Weems to Wayne, Columbia, S. C, August 9, 1805, Skeel, Weems, I, 262. 

60 Weems to Carey, n. p., n. d., received July 26, 1811, Skeel, Weems, I, 283. 

Note the publisher Carey's exasperation with Weems: "For Heaven's sake do not 
encourage every man who has written a Book no matter whether good or bad to apply to us. 
You worry us to Death. We have full as much on our hands as we can manage." Carey to 
Weems, Philadelphia, 1821, Skeel, Weems, III, 310. 

A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina 23 

same fashion that he did General Peter Horry's account of 
Francis Marion. 

Because of his manifold activities Parson Weems had an in- 
estimable influence upon the cultural life of North Carolina in 
the first quarter of the nineteenth century. His bookselling was 
perhaps the most telling feature. In this respect his zeal was 
unbounded ; even his preaching was subordinate to it. As Bishop 
Meade observed somewhat sourly : "He preached in every pulpit 
to which he could gain access, and where he could recommend 
his books." 61 His enthusiasm must have lured many a laggard 
to literacy and his wit persuaded many a purchaser. His appeal 
was to all classes — from those to whom he sold^the expensive 
calfskin-bound Marshall's Washington to the half-educated rank 
and file at whom he aimed his own sketch of Washington. This 
gifted vagabond with his fiddle and ready tongue was a familiar 
figure to North Carolinians of the era, "an object of amusement 
to many, and of profit to Mr. Carey" 62 as well as of benefit to the 
state as a whole. 

61 Bishop [William] Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia (Philadel- 
phia, 1900), II, 233. Evidently the Parson was a match for the Bishop; see Meade's own 
account: "I once . . . found Mr. Weems with a bookcaseful [of books] for sale, in the 
portico of the tavern. On looking at them I saw Paine's 'Age of Reason,' and, taking it 
into my hand, turned to him, and asked if it were possible that he could sell such a book. 
He immediately took out the Bishop of Llandaff's answer, and said, 'Behold the antidote. 
The bane and antidote are both before you,' " Meade, Old Churches, II, 235. 

62 Meade, Old Churches, II, 233. 


By James High 

The Stamp Act of 1765 was the starting point of the ten-year 
period that culminated in the American Revolution. The man 
who drafted the law, a forgotten clerk in a great office, believed 
that it could have worked had his recommendations been fol- 
lowed. The British ministers of state have had to bear the blame 
for losing the American colonies. Henry McCulloh has never 
been given any credit for his advice and foreknowledge of the 
crisis precipitated by the Stamp Act. That act caused George 
Grenville's ministry to fall. It was the first time an American 
issue had retired an English government. 1 

Henry McCulloh gave the idea of an American stamp duty its 
first written form, which he handed, unsolicited, to the Earl of 
Bute, first minister in 1761. 2 It was examined and endorsed by 
Bute, Newcastle, Pelham, Halifax, and Grenville and was finally 
accepted by the latter as the basis for his infamous revenue 
measure of 1765. 3 McCulloh produced the idea in 1761 and was 

1 Technically, Grenville fell on the Regency Bill, but Rockingham formed the next 
ministry with Pitt in order to repeal the Stamp Act. George Grenville (1712-1770), British 
politician, famous for prosecuting Wilkes and instituting the Stamp Act. He is often 
identified with the "King's Friends." One of his sons, George Nugent Temple Grenville, 
first Marquis of Buckingham (1753-1813), cousin of William Pitt, opposed Lord North. 
Another son, William Wyndham Grenville, first Baron Grenville (1759-1834), became Pitt's 
foreign secretary and formed the "Ministry of All the Talents" in 1806, when the slave 
trade was abolished. One may search almost in vain for the most trifling mention of 
American affairs in the published papers of George Grenville, and his official and secret 
correspondence while he headed the British ministry is preoccupied with European affairs 
to the complete exclusion of the colonies. He hardly thought of America, and when he did, 
it was as an appanage of the mercantile system of England. See Stowe Manuscripts (Henry 
E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California), 6, for information con- 
cerning the assistance Grenville gave the Earl of Bute in getting rid of William Pitt in 1761. 
Lady Hester Pitt was made a baroness, and her husband was granted an annuity of £3,000, 
to give up the ministry and make peace. Stowe Manuscripts III, 1-2. Stowe Manuscripts, 7, 
cover the period of Grenville's administration, including his retirement from office without 
any mention of America. 

2 Miscellaneous Representations relative to Our Concerns in America submitted in 1761 to 
the Karl of Bute, by Henry M'Culloh, . . . edited by William A. Shaw (London, n. d., 1905), 
12. John Stuart, third Earl of Bute (1713-1792), was a Scottish noble often elected as 
representative peer to sit in the English Parliament. He was the first Scottish nobleman 
to head a British ministry. He married a daughter of Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, thus 
becoming very wealthy. He was very friendly with the young George III and his widowed 
mother, especially the latter. He helped the princess instill into the young prince the ideas 
of Bolingbroke on the nature cf the duties of a prince. He was also on intimate terms with 
another Scottish peer who had experienced trouble with Americans, John Campbell, fourth 
Earl of Loudoun. Loudoun Papers (Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery), 9441- 
9458. In 1769 he considered himself ignorant of English affairs and went to Lisbon for his 
health. Bute to Loudoun, August 19, 1769, LO 9443. Bute voted in 1766, against repeal of the 
Stamp Act, as he said, "entirely from the private conviction ... of its very bad and 
dangerous consequences both to this country and our colonys." Caldwell Papers, Maitland 
Club (1854), II, pt. ii, 82. See Historical Manuscripts Commission, 9th Report, Appendix 
iii, 22. 

8 Edmund S. Morgan, "Postponement of the Stamp Act., William and Mary Quarterly, 
VII (July, 1950), 353-392, discusses the delay in putting through the act, partly to allow 
American discussion and partly because of indifference. 


Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 25 

hired to write the law in 1764. Had more attention been paid to 
McCulloh's provisions, and had items "Exceptionable," as he put 
it, to the colonists not been included, American resistance to the 
Stamp Act would possibly have been less. It would, at least, have 
been on different grounds. 4 McCulloh had been in the Plantation 
Office and the Colonial Office, had served as a crown officer in 
North and South Carolina, and had been in the naval expedition 
along with the Massachusetts men at the reduction of Louis- 
bourg. He was, therefore, in a position to understand Americans 
as well as anyone in the British government — better than any 
of the ministers. His law, altered in essential detail, was en- 
acted by Parliament in February, 1765. 5 The changes, though 
seemingly slight, put a workable plan into a "dress of Horror" 
for Americans. 6 They reacted against it immediately and 
violently. 7 

It is facile to say that George Grenville should have "known 
better." It is equally easy to say the same of such a man as 
William Knox, one of the principal advisers of the Board of 
Trade on colonial affairs. Knox wrote many books on America 
and its administration, but he had spent little time in the 
colonies, and he could only think of the colonists as Englishmen 

4 Sir Francis Bernard to the Earl of Halifax, November 10, 1764, Huntington Manuscripts 
(Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery), 2586. Bernard was governor of Massa- 
chusetts during the Stamp Act controversy. He had never been firm in his belief that 
Parliament should impose taxes on the colonies. Typical of his attitude was his letter to 
Halifax, in which he said that ". . . the Trade of America is really the Trade of Great 
Britain and the opening and encouraging it is the most Effectual way for Great Britain to 
draw Money from America." See Select Letters on the Trade and Government of America 
by Governor Bernard (London, 1774). 

Daniel Dulany, Considerations on the Propriety of Imposing Taxes in the British Colonies, 
for the Purpose of Raising a Revenue by Act of Parliament (Annapolis, 1765), gave classic 
form to the American resistance to Parliamentary control based on resistance to the 
particular act. Without the Stamp Act, it would have had to take another form. 

B George III, c. 12, the Stamp Act. 

6 "General Thoughts endeavouring to demonstrate that the Legislature here, in all Cases 
df a Public and General Concern, have a Right to Tax the British Colonies; But that with 
respect to the late America Stamp Duty Bill, there are several Clauses inserted therein 
which are very Exceptionable, and have, as humbly Conceived, passed upon wrong Informa- 
tion. Most Humbly Submitted to the Consideration of the Honourable Thomas Townshend 
By Henry McCulloh [1765]." Huntington Manuscripts, Townshend Collection (Henry E. 
Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, California), 1480, cited hereafter as 
"General Thoughts. . . ." 

7 See Lawrence Henry Gipson, Jared Ingersoll: A Study of American Loyalism in Relation 
to British Colonial Government (New Haven, 1920), for a description of how the act was 
received in America. Stella F. Duff, "The Case Against the King: The Virginia Gazettes 
Indict George III," William and Mary Quarterly, VI (July, 1949), shows the mounting 
rancor against England that grew from the Stamp Act. Even the English magazines in 
1765 were not unfriendly to the American point of view: as an example, see Gentleman's 
Magazine, XXXV (October, 1765), 473: "The Stamp Act has produced a spirit of opposition, 
in that remote part of the world, that was not perhaps foreseen by the advisers of that 
measure. The news of the late change in the ministry was received in America with bonfires, 
ringing of bells, and every public demonstration of joy." Effigies of Grenville were burned 
in all the colonies. 

26 The North Carolina Historical Review 

abroad. 8 Many Englishmen missed the significance of the colonial 
use of "foreigner" to include them. 9 Looking back, the mistakes 
are evident, but in 1765, only a man with real interest and 
experience in America could see the colonists' point of view 
and yet perceive Parliamentary sovereignty as the supreme 
force in the empire. 10 

Who was this man who advised and influenced ministers, 
but could not convince them? He suggested the idea of the 
Stamp Act. 11 He worked out the plan of taxation in detail. 12 
He wrote the first draft of the law. 13 He then pointed out the 
reasons for its potential failure as it finally passed Parliament. 14 
He discerned that Englishmen who were chiefly interested in 
colonial trade would oppose such a measure, but that Englishmen 
on both sides of the Atlantic who found their main interest in 
land and the unification of the empire, would agree to the 
principal, and yet oppose the terms of the specific act. McCulloh, 
furthermore, devised a currency scheme, without which no 
American revenue law would work. 15 Who was Henry McCulloh, 
and why has he been forgotten? 

Why he has been forgotten is simple. He was only a clerk in a 
great office. He soon drifted into that limbo of vague eighteenth 
century names, without birth or death dates — without recog- 

8 William Knox (1732-1810), permanent employee of the Board of Trade as an expert 
on American affairs wrote several books on American politics and administration, such 
as The Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies Reviewed (London, Dublin, 
Boston, 1769). He thought that the Americans wanted to remove all imperial restrictions: 
"When they shall have carried these several points, one after another, they will probably 
be content, whatever the people of England may be." 

9 William Knox, Controversy .... 108-109 (London edition), gives Benjamin Franklin's 
opinion that British interference in the French and Indian war was not needed. The 
Americans drove out the French without "foreign" help. Gentlemen's Magazine, XXXV 
(April, 1765), 189ff., reviews a book, Objections to the Taxation of the American Colonies 
&c. considered, which held that the Americans were treated ". . . as aliens and slaves," 
by foreign rulers. Gentleman's Magazine, XXXV (October, 1765), 473. London Magazine 
(January, 1766), 31, 32. Cf. Dora Mae Clark, British Opinion and the American Revolution 
(New Haven, 1930), 34. On the basis of one of Henry McCulloh's tracts, A Miscellaneous 
Essay concerning the Course pursued by Great Britain in the Affairs of her Colonies (London, 
1755), this author has lumped him and William Knox and Thomas Whately into one 
category: they should have "known better" than attempt the Stamp Act. 

10 The classic American point of view on the history of the Stamp Act was expressed 
early by George Bancroft, History of the United States of America, III (New York, 1888), 
149JJ., that right in the form of American sovereignty was bound to triumph. More useful 
interpretations are now available, such as Gipson, Jared Ingersoll, and Morgan, "Postpone- 
ment of the Stamp Act." 

11 Miscellaneous Representations relative to Our Concerns in America Submitted in 1761 
to the Earl of Bute, by Henry M'Culloh. . . , edited by William A. Shaw (London, n. d.), 12, 
hereafter cited as McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations. 

12 British Museum, Hardwicke Papers, Additional Manuscripts, 35910:137. "Minutes and 
observations taken in conference with Mr. McCulloh upon considering of his scheme for 
an American Stamp law," October 12, 1763, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 

13 McCulloh, "General Thoughts. . . ," 13. 

14 McCulloh, "General Thoughts. . . ," passim. 

15 McCulloh, "General Thoughts. . . ,*' passim. British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 27 

McCulloh's career has been obscured by time and the glitter 
of great names. In English records he first appears as a minor 
official in the Plantation Office in 1733. 16 The next notice of his 
existence was in 1738, when he presented two memorials to 
the Treasury Board concerning the improvement of quitrent 
collection in the Carolinas. He attempted to expose an alleged 
land fraud in the newly made crown colonies. 17 The next year 
he was made "Inspector for improving quit rents in North and 
South Carolina." 18 Apparently he failed to collect enough to pay 
his own salary, because the North Carolina Assembly refused 
his petition for back pay in 1741. 19 He styled himself at that 
time, "Commissioner for supervising, inspecting, and controlling 
His Majesty's revenues and grants of lands in the province of 
North Carolina." 20 His name next appears in 1744, when the 
Treasury Board in England refused to appropriate his still 
unpaid arrears out of the "4% P cent duty" on the West Indian 
trade. 21 

In financial desperation, McCulloh returned to England in 
1745, to seek a commission in the navy. In his request to the 
Duke of Newcastle for letters of recommendation to Governor 
William Shirley of Massachusetts, he wrote: "I rely wholly 
upon your friendship for my support," and expressed intention 
to board the "Foulston man-of-war" for Virginia, and so to 
Cape Breton. 22 He remained in the garrison of Fort Louisbourg 
until it was returned to France by treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle. 23 

If McCulloh's life in England was quite prosaic, his American 
activities were spectacular. He entered colonial records with a 
grand flourish in 1737, as Henry McCulloh of Chiswick Parish, 
Middlesex, England, grantee of 1,200,000 acres of land in North 
Carolina. 24 The terms of this princely grant required him to 

!6 Public Record Office, Treasury Board Papers, CCXCVIII, Number 38. 

17 Public Record Office, Colonial Office 5, Plantations General, Number 30 (old style cita- 
tion, before the program of Project A was started). 

M Treasury Minute of Appointment, January 2, 1738/39 (O. S.); Royal Warrant issued 
May 16, 1739 (O. S.), King's Warrant Book: Treasury, XXXIII, 281-282, hereafter referred 
to as King's Warrant Book: Treasury. 

19 His instructions appear in King's Warrant Book: Treasury, XXXIII, 282-291. Conflict 
with North Carolina first appears in Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers . . . preserved 
in the Public Record Office, edited by William A. Shaw (London, 1905- ), IV, 503. 

20 Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, IV, (introduction) viii. 

21 Calendar of Treasury Books and Papers, V, 674. 

^McCulloh to Andrew Stone [1745], British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 32709, 
Newcastle Papers, 119. 

23 McCulloh to Newcastle, February 13, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 

24 The Colonial Records of North Carolina, edited by William L. Saunders ( 10 vols. 
Raleigh, 1886-1890), VI, 533, hereafter cited as Colonial Records. 

28 The North Carolina Historical Review 

settle on it "6,000 Protestants" within ten years. 25 The scheme 
he had to "improve his Majesty's quit rents was to sub-grant 
his land in great seignories, collecting annually four shillings 
for each one hundred acres. The promoter was to keep half of 
the proceeds for his trouble. 26 The plan was a failure, and within 
three years McCulloh was in sharp conflict with the colonial 
Assembly over the question of local sovereignty versus Parlia- 
mentary supremacy. They would neither pay his royal salary, 
nor would they admit that the king had any right to grant away 
great tracts of their colony. 27 This land speculator and servant 
of the crown was learning the mettle of the Americans, and 
why they spoke of Englishmen as "foreigners." 

By 1745, McCulloh had almost despaired of turning his land 
speculation to much account, but he still held his claims in North 
Carolina, now in conjunction with a group of Dublin entre- 
preneurs including Arthur Dobbs. 28 Dobbs later became royal 
governor of the colony, and by 1761, had succeeded in wresting 
from his former friend the whole vast acreage. 29 McCulloh, 
however, acquired a smaller tract on the Cape Fear River in 
1745. It was only 71,160 acres: a pocketful as compared to the 
fabulous grant of 1737. During his absence from North Carolina 
(for now he spoke of it as his home), he delegated a relative, 
Alexander McCulloh, to sell outright this land. 30 By that time 
he had less personal interest in the king's revenues. 

It is not apparent that he made any profit from this venture 
either, because in 1753 he petitioned the Duke of Newcastle for 
relief. 31 He had been out of a job for five years, since the term- 
ination of his service at Louisbourg. 

25 Colonial Records, V, xxxii, 769. Grant was made May 19, 1737. 

26 Colonial Records, V, 770-771. Governor Gabriel Johnston directed that the subdivisions 
be not less than 12,000 acres each. At least three such grants were made to Arthur Dobbs, 
Murry Crymble, and James Huey. 

27 Colonial Records, V, xxxii, 104; VI, 533. 

28 Colonial Records, V, xxxii, 104; VI, 533. 

29 Colonial Records, VI, 560. Herbert L. Osgood, The American Colonies in the Eighteenth 
Century (4 vols. New York, 1924), VI, 201, 204, says that McCulloh, with his influence 
in the Board of Trade, obtained the position of governor of North Carolina for Dobbs. 

30 Colonial Records, VI, 574. This grant was tied up with Governor Johnston's quarrel 
with the Assembly over the right to issue land patents. The Assembly held that they had 
the sole jurisdiction over the lands of the former proprietors of the colony. The dispute 
was ended only by the American Revolution. 

31 McCulloh to Newcastle, June 22, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 32732:86. 
Thomas Pelham-Holles (1693-1768) was made Viscount Haughton and Earl of Clare and 
Suffolk upon the accession of George I and Duke of Newcastle-upon-Tyne two years later 
in 1715. He and his brother, Henry Pelham, figured in English politics until 1768. One or 
the other headed or was prominent in every ministry after 1717 until the end of the Seven 
Years' War. 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 29 

For the next four years McCulloh besieged the duke for a 
position. He wanted especially the royal secretaryship of North 
Carolina. 32 With that job he could collect a salary from the 
crown, and still be in a position to exploit his land grant which 
had been extended for ten more years in 1748. 33 He kept track 
of the health of the incumbent secretary, and informed New- 
castle of developments: ". . . there is a further account of 
Mr. Rice's death, who was given over by the physicians, when 
the last ship came thence, . . . with the gout in his bowels and 
stomack." 34 Secretary Rice failed the new aspirant and lived 
until 1756. 35 

In 1753 McCulloh, in hard financial straits, had to beg ". . . 
Mr. Pelham that he will pleased to grant me a small sum of 
money for a present relief untill I succeed, which is the only 
means of hope I now have left to preserve my little family and 
self from utter ruin." 36 Failing to get the position in North 
Carolina, he applied for one in the Naval Office of the Lower 
District of the James River in Virginia; and subsequently for 
his old clerkship at the Board of Trade. He reported to his 
patron that the Earl of Halifax had rebuked him for his im- 
portunity, and wrote ". . . that I kept running teasing your 
Grace so . . . and that I asked everything, and that he supposed 
I wanted twenty places, and that I was one of those sort of 
people that could never be contented." 37 

Finally, in 1756, his name appears as Secretary and Clerk 
of the Crown of North Carolina. He retained the position until 
1761, when he was reinstated in the Plantation Office. 38 At the 
same time he finally lost all claim to his great grant of land in 
America; but an entry in colonial records shows Henry Eustare 
McCulloh, son of "Henry McCulloh, late of Soracty in North 
Carolina," attempting to exploit 475,000 acres in "Lord Gran- 
ville's tract." 39 

32 McCulloh to Newcastle, April 6, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 32731:338. 

33 Petition of Henry McCulloh, May 16, 1739, Colonial Records, V, 488, 628-629. 

34 McCulloh to Newcastle, March 26, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 

30 Court and City Register, 1756. Thomas Falkner appears as secretary in 1761. 

36 McCulloh to Newcastle, April 6, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 32732:86. 

37 McCulloh to Newcastle, April 6, 1753, British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 

38 Henry McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations . . . , introduction. 

39 Board of Trade to Dobbs, May 6, 1761, Colonial Records, VI, 559-561, indicates that they 
intended to direct Dobbs to seize all of the land not actually settled. Colonial Records, V, 621. 

30 The North Carolina Historical Review 

This was the man, then, whom one person has called ". . . 
responsible for the financial proposal which provoked the 
American War of Independence." 40 By a little further examina- 
tion it may be seen that his American experience had taught 
him that there were certain points upon which the colonists 
would not compromise. His interest, sympathy, and intelligence 
prompted him to translate this experience into imperial policy 
when he had the chance. He almost succeeded. 

Just before the Stamp Act was finally drafted in 1764, the 
Treasury Board recorded "Minutes and observations taken in 
conference with Mr. M'Culloh." 41 This included a ". . . state 
of the several articles proposed by Mr. M'Culloh to be stamped, 
and the duties thereon; likewise a state of all the different 
articles which are now stamped in Great Britain, in order to 
fix upon the articles which are to be inserted in the law intended 
for imposing Stamp duties in America and the West Indies." 42 
The manuscript carries the following endorsement on the back 
of the last sheet: "10th October 1763, was presented to Mr. 
Green vill, who approved it." Sometime during the following year 
the measure was expanded to include the "duties intended by 
the Treasury," and McCulloh's scheme to stabilize colonial 
currency was eliminated. 43 He was sure that this would "defeat 
the whole of what is proposed." 44 

Henry McCulloh, co-author of the Stamp Act, knew in advance 
that it was foredoomed, because, as he wrote, ". . . there are 
several clauses inserted therein which are very Exceptionable, 

40 Henry McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations . . . , introduction. 

41 Minutes and Observations taken in conference with Mr. McCulloh . . . , British 
Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 30226:357. 

42 British Museum, Additional Manuscripts, 35910:137. Edmund S. Morgan, "Postponement 
of the Stamp Act," 353#., points out that Grenville was not decided on the matter of a 
stamp duty in America until 1764, and then he allowed himself to be persuaded to substitute 
the Sugar Act. He is supposed to have deferred action on an internal tax until the Americans 
had been given a chance to perfect a plan of their own choosing. The manuscript, including 
"duties intended by the Treasury," and endorsed by Grenville on October 10, 1763, tends to 
undermine this point of view. It is further weakened by the fact that such men as Benjamin 
Franklin, Jared Ingersoll, Charles Garth, and the rest of the colonial agents found no 
fault with the Stamp Act until after the Stamp Act Congress held in New York in October, 
1765. See Verner W. Crane, Benjamin Franklin's Letters to the Press, 1758 to 1775 (Chapel 
Hill, 1950), 35-75 (on repeal, 25, 54-57). See also Jared Ingersoll, Ingersoll Stamp Act 
Correspondence (n. p., 1776), 26. 

43 Benjamin Franklin's land bank scheme for supporting a colonial currency was turned 
down at the same time. Parliament was dominated by men interested in trade, and steeped 
in the beliefs of mercantilism. It was very difficult for them to envisage America as anything 
but an appanage of British trade. They failed generally to perceive the sovereign aspirations 
of the colonists. The fact was that the mercantile system was toppling of its own cumbersome 
weight. The Earl of Hillsborough, Secretary of State, wrote to Governor Horatio Sharpe 
of Maryland, that trade was being ". . . diverted from its natural course," which was from 
colony to mother country. He was bewildered, and he probably represented the majority of 
his contemporaries. Hillsborough to Sharpe, October 10, 1763, Maryland Historical Society 

44 Henry McCulloh, Miscellaneous Revresentations . . . , 8. 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 31 

and have . . . passed upon wrong Information." 45 He even 
proposed that ". . . the Ladies in America" had emulated the 
plan of Lysistrata, and "that they have formed a kind of Con- 
federacy in all the Colonies, not to Permit any Officer concerned 
in the Stamp Duties to Visit them, or be Entertained at their 
Houses." 46 

The main points of potential failure that he brought up were : 

(1) interference in the American ecclesiastical arrangements; 

(2) the threat to local courts and the constitutional right of 
habeas corpus; (3) the lack of any reform in the circulation of 
specie; and (4) the mistaken concept of colonial unification 
and the need for mutual understanding of the sovereignty of 

The manuscript which contains these "General Thoughts 
. . . with respect to the late America Stamp Duty Bill . . ." 
was presented for the "Consideration of the Honourable Thomas 
Townsend by Henry McCulloh" in 1765. 47 If Townsend or anyone 
else ever considered it, no knowledge of the matter has come 
down to the present. The manuscript has remained unnoticed 
for one hundred and eighty-five years. It is a significant illustra- 
tion of the bumbling administration of the English colonies in 
the eighteenth century, and it shows that it was possible in 
1765 for an Englishman to understand the quality of feeling in 
America. He must, however, have had a deep interest in the 
New World and long experience among its inhabitants. 

McCulloh touched the core of the constitutional struggle that 
was to develop between America and the mother country when 
he wrote concerning the application of stamps to wills and 
other documents of "Courts Exercising Ecclesiastical jurisdic- 
tion: There is not in America any Ecclesiastical Courts, but 
the people Settled there, who are mostly Dissenters or Sectarys 
of various other Denominations, look upon [the Stamp Act] 
. . . as a prelude to the Establishment of such Courts; and 
many of them would sooner fforfeit their lives than pay 

45 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

48 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," 12, Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

47 Thomas Townshend was a member of the Board of Trade, related to the more famous 
and more inept Charles Townshend (1725-1767), who as Chancellor of the Exchequer tried 
to enforce import duties on glass, tea, lead, paint, etc., in America with as little success 
as Grenville had. Thomas Townshend usually voted on the Board of Trade as Soame Jenyns 
did. Jenyns gave classic form to the idea that no one would willingly tax himself and that 
therefore Parliament had the right to perform that function for all British subjects. 

32 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Obedience to such Establishment." 48 His experience as an of- 
ficer in the British navy in Massachusetts would have taught 
him that, when he sailed with the force under Sir William 
Pepperell. He continued: "Their Teachers are likewise very 
Active in inflaming the Minds of the People, and will, from their 
dislike to the above Clause, give as much Opposition to the 
Stamp Duty Bill as if there was a Clause in it for Establishing 
a Court of Inquisition amongst them." 49 He pointed out that 
the Church of England had failed to transport to America its 
prerogative in the probate of wills and issuance of marriage 
licenses. The bishop failed to migrate to the New World, and 
as McCulloh knew, "The Governors in most of the Colonies 
act as Ordinary, in the probate of Wills: and in . . . Such 
Colonies where the Governors do not Exercise this power it 
is left to the County Courts." 50 

He touched the canker of resentment again when he com- 
mented on the provision of the Stamp Act that "When any Suit 
of prosecution shall be Commenced in the Courts of Admiralty 
or Vice Admiralty, the said courts are . . . Authorized and 
required to proceed, hear and determine the same, at the Election 
of the Enformer or Prosecutor." This seemed to impinge on 
the ancient right of habeas corpus. "The Colonies insist, that 
by the above Clause, they are denied the Privileges they are 
Intitled to as ffree born Subjects of the Mother Country; That 
they, as Colonists, are Intitled to the benefits of the Common 
Law of England, and to the Privileges Granted by Magna 
Charta, and that even admitting that our Parliament has a 
Right to Tax them, It cannot be inferred from thence that the 
Parliament has a Right to Disfranchise them, and bar them 
from their natural Rights as Englishmen: That all power is, 
or ought to be, bounded by reason, by Justice, and by the 
Principles of the Constitution, And that if it goes further, it is 
Tyranny. They likewise Alledge, that if an Act was to pass here 
which drew Lines of Distinction between those who had Votes 
in Counties and Boroughs, And those who had not any Votes 
in Choosing Members of Parliament, that the Bulk of the Sub- 

48 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

10 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. See Clinton 
Rorisiter, "The Life and Mind of Jonathan Mayhew," William and Mary Quarterly, VII 
(October, 1950), which illustrates well how the dynamic religious movements in America in- 
fluenced men to adopt revolutionary principles. 

50 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 33 

jects in this Kingdom would hold themselves Excused from 
paying Obedience to so Arbitrary and Unconstitutional a Law." 51 
McCulloh could have learned this when he was special collector 
of His Majesty's quitrents in the Carolinas in 1738, or when 
he was Crown Secretary for North Carolina from 1756 to 1761. 

Always one of the thorniest problems that confronted the 
colonists and their administrators was the shortage of medium 
of exchange. During the period of settlement imperial "neglect" 
had allowed each colony to develop its own method of furnishing 
money to meet the necessities of everyday life. The result was 
a mixture of the various notes of colonial legislatures, British 
coins, and foreign gold and silver. No uniformity existed, and 
colonial issues were invariably discounted heavily in favor of 
English pounds sterling. Colonial trade was often hampered, 
and by 1765 inflation was becoming ominous. If a regular British 
tax was to be levied, the need for currency reform was evident, 
at least to McCulloh. 

He wrote that ". . . under their present Circumstances it is 
impossible for many of the Colonists to pay Obedience to the 
said Law," because of the shortage of circulating cash. He 
deprecated the deletion of his provision against this dilemma. 
Concerning the curtailment of colonial money issues, he said 
that ". . . it will be found that those Sudden Revolutions in 
Trade, and in Government, without Substituting any thing as 
a Medium in the Course of Payments, will have a fatal Tendency, 
both with respect to the public Concerns of the Colonies, and to 
Trade and Commerce. There is nothing can be Offered on this 
Subject but will be attended with some Difficulties, and be 
liable to Objections, but the necessity of the case is such that 
something must be done in Relief of the Colonies, And . . . 
it will be wise and Prudent to take that course which will be 
found liable to the fewest Inconveniences." 52 

He followed this preface with a plan so simple and apparently 
feasible that it is difficult to understand now why it was not 
adopted. His own words are so clear that they may be quoted 
at length: 

51 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. He may have been 
referring here to Grenville's ill-fated Cider Bill of 1764, which met rigorous opposition 
from the groups in Durham not represented in Parliament. See Soame Jenyns's statement 
on Parliamentary sovereignty, Objections to the Taxation of our American Colonies by the 
Legislature of Great Britain, briefly consider' d (London, 1765). 

52 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

34 The North Carolina Historical Review 

I have Often Considered this Matter, and have had great 
Opportunities of being Acquainted with the General Concerns 
of America ; and the only Method which seems to be practicable 
is, . . . by Issuing Exchequer Orders in the Payment of the 
Army, and all other contingent Charges in America, which will 
Obtain a Circulation by receiving the said Orders in payment 
of Customs, Stamp Duties, Quit Rents &c a . . . , [or] else there 
should be a New Coinage for America, to be Transmitted there 
for payment of the Troops, and other Contingent Charges ; And 
as by the 6 th of Queen Anne ff oreign Silver is to pass in America 
at the rate of 6 s 8 d p Ounce, in the new Coinage for America 
there should be an Alloy of 14 th Given to each Ounce of Silver, 
but I would not be Understood to pass it as Sterling, but accord- 
ing to the Real Value. 

If this Proposal is Approved of, the Stamp Duty and other 
Revenues arising in America will at different Periods of time, 
be Sufficient to Raise four or ffive Millions Sterling . . . and 
by this means America will be Supplied with Silver Specie so 
as to Answer all payments, both of a Public and of a Private 

The only Objection that I have heard mentioned is, that if 
the Colonies are not at Liberty to Issue any further Bills of 
Currency, and their Silver as Coined upon the Credit of the 
above Fund, it will not remain in America, But be Shipped home, 
which I conceive to be a mistake, for if the Money is really 
Circulated, so much as is needed for the Course of Business there 
will remain. 

McCulloh did not try to deny Gresham's Law, but he main- 
tained that a proper circulation of money would tend to offset 
its effects: 53 

The Principal reason why the Money Shipped from thence in 
the late War, for the payment of the Troops in America, speedily 
returned again, was Owing to the Money not being Circulated 
in Payment of the Troops, as the Subaltern Officers and Soldiers 
were paid in Provincial Bills of Currency and consequently the 
Commanding Officers and merchants found their Account in 
returning it home. Provincial Bills of Currency are like Pha- 
roah's Lean Kine: while they remain, Silver Specie will always 
be exported as Merchandize, but when a Stop is put to the Cir- 
culation of Bills of Currency, Silver Specie will become the 
proper Medium, or Course of payment in all the Intercourses of 
Trade. But even admitting that a great part of the Silver re- 
turned to England, there will be a Constant and fresh Supply of 
Money in the payment of the Army &c a , and it will be for the 
Service of this Kingdom to have frequent Coinages of Silver, 

53 Sir Thomas Gresham (1519 ?-1579), Elizabethan philosopher who gave his name to the 
principle that ". . . of two currencies . . . the lesser will drive out the better which 
will be hoarded or exported." This became a tenet of mercantilism. 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 35 

upon the credit of an American ffund, which will Strengthen 
the hand of the Administration in Enabling them to Settle and 
Improve our new Acquisitions in America. 54 

It was estimated that £80,000 could be collected annually under 
optimum operation of the new law. McCulloh thought that by 
eliminating the obnoxious portions and instituting a new cur- 
rency system, the total revenue would be about £4,000 less, but 
that the act would be a total failure otherwise. It is easy to look 
back and see the mistakes that other people have made, but Henry 
McCulloh discerned the weak points of the Whigs' Stamp Act 
long before it became law. His analysis came closer to the truth 
than even those of Daniel Dulany and James Otis in America. 55 
He agreed with the official attitude of the Board of Trade insofar 
as admitting that no one would willingly tax himself, but at the 
same time he was able to devise a measure that he thought would 
collect a reasonable proportion of the taxes expected by the 
crown. He was more realistic than either Parliament or the 

He had written a tract ten years earlier that leaves no doubt 
of his belief in the sovereignty of Parliament. 56 He thought that 
legislative action should be translated into systematic adminis- 
tration of the whole empire, ". . . by making one Part of Use in 
the Improvement of another." 57 He wrote in 1761 that "as the 

^McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

55 James Otis (1725-1783) was already famous in Massachusetts for his resistance to the 
writs of assistance issued by the General Court of his colony. He advanced the theory of 
the natural rights of Americans — this phrase might include anything that its user desired. 
Otis exploited the New Englanders' interest in trade and consequent dislike of restrictions 
on it, to appeal to their sense of independence. See Charles Mullett, Some Political Writings 
of James Otis (1929). Daniel Dulany (1722-1797) was the son of Daniel Dulany, the elder 
(1685-1753), Irish immigrant to Maryland who became very wealthy and influential in that 
colony. The younger Dulany gave written, logical form to Stamp Act resistance in his 
Considerations . . . , already cited. It was written however, in October, 1765, and is a 
legalistic, opportunistic utilization of spurious logic and unusual arithmetic. Dulany was a 
Loyalist in 1776. Cf. Charles Albro Barker, The Background of the Revolution in Maryland 
(New Haven, 1940), 165, 305-306. 

5o Henry McCulloh, A Miscellaneous Essay concerning the Course pursued by Great Britain 
in the Affairs of her Colonies (London, 1755). See Clark, British Opinion and the American 
Revolution, 34w. It is interesting to note here that in 1755 no one seriously questioned 
British sovereignty, on either side of the Atlantic, except the proprietary family of Maryland. 
When Governor Sharpe suggested a stamp duty for America to finance the French and 
Indian War (Sharpe to Cecilius Calvert, September 15, 1754, Archives of Maryland, "Cor- 
respondence of Governor Sharpe, 1753-1757," edited by William Hand Browne, Baltimore, 
1888, VI, 99, ". . . it should be thought proper to bring in a Bill . . . the next Session 
of Parliament . . . for raising a Fund in the several Provinces . . . By a Stamp Duty 
. . . on Deeds & Writings. . . ."), he was dissuaded from his idea by Secretary Calvert, 
uncle of the young Lord Baltimore. By 1765 Calvert regretted the passage of the Stamp 
Act and blamed it on the "whimsies" of the Maryland Assembly, which "has brought on 
them the Lex Parlimenti . . ." Calvert to Sharpe, February 26, 1765, Calvert Papers 
(Maryland Historical Society), 573. Sharpe thought in 1765 that "Parliament indeed seems 
to be considered throughout North America as calculated to distress the Colonies without 
doing the least Service to the Mother Country." Sharpe to Calvert, February 26, 1765, 
Maryland Archives, XIV, 196. 

57 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations . . . , 6. 

36 The North Carolina Historical Review 

want of System was the main Inlett to the present War, if we do 
not regulate, or establish a proper Course or Rule of Proceeding, 
all the Advantages we fondly hope for, will vanish into Air . . . 
As all lesser Systems must depend upon the System observed in 
the Mother Country, nothing proposed can have it's due Effect, 
unless the Offices abroad are so regulated as to transmit every 
Matter of Importance ... in America, to the Plantation Office: 
And then, the Success of the whole depends upon the R* Hon bl 
the Lords of Trade and Plantations making a due and full Report 
to the Crown of all Matters that come under their Inspection. 
For, if the Channels of Information can be obstructed, or varied 
by different Modes of Application, it will leave Room for Con- 
nections which may defeat the whole of what is proposed." He 
then suggested a stamp duty to pay the cost, and a system of 
strict accounting. 58 

In 1765, he reiterated his belief in the supremacy of Parlia- 
ment, saying that the colonies ". . . are under the protection of 
the Legislature here, and in some Degree in the Character of 
Wards, . . . And altho' many persons in the Colonies have often 
insisted, that as they have no proper Representative here, they 
ought not to be Taxed by our Legislature, Yet this Plea may with 
equal Reason be Urged by many Men of Fortune in this Kingdom, 
whose fortunes are in Trade or in the Public Funds; and the 
same Plea may be Urged by nine tenths of the Common People. 
But as both there and here such persons Enjoy the Privilege of 
Subjects, and the Protection of the Laws, they are indispensably 
bound to Conform their Conduct to the Rules prescribed to them 
by the Laws and Consitutions of this Kingdom." 59 McCulloh still 
felt that a "Stamp Duty on Vellum parchment and Paper in 
North America" 60 was the only "Tax or fund from which any 
Considerable Duty [could] arise in relief of the Mother Country," 
but it must be a wise measure based on deliberation, considera- 
tion, and experience. 61 

Concluding his appeal for revision of the Stamp Act, McCulloh 
wrote: "I was desired to assist ... in drawing the Stamp Duty 
Bill, but I left out the above, and several other Clauses that are 
now incerted therein, However that Affair was taken out of my 

58 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations . . . , 13. 

59 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

60 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations . . . , 12. 

61 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act 37 

Hands, and the Bill was afterwards drawn upon the plan of 
Business in use here which is very different from what ought to 
have been observed in America." He thought that the law would 
". . . be another great means of introducing much Disturbance 
and Confusion in the . . . Colonies." To allow the colonies to unite 
themselves without Parliamentary authority, or enforce an ob- 
noxious tax measure, he knew was inept. He said that ". . . there 
could not be a more effectual Method taken to render the said 
Colonies in Process of time, independent of their Mother Coun- 
try." 62 He was right. 

Such an attempt as McCulloh's in 1765 was more to the point 
of preserving the British empire than all the extra-Parliamentary 
bugling about American "rights" by William Pitt, General Con- 
way, and John Wilkes. The American colonists were not looking 
for "friends" in England. They looked for sound leadership from 
the mother country, and they were disappointed. Franklin, in 
1769, could say that the Americans had not "asked" for help in 
expelling the French, that they had actually done it all alone ; 63 
but that was in 1769, after American affairs had been caught in 
"the Grand Wheel of Government." 64 In 1765, he and Thomas 
Pownall had a plan of their own to finance the Stamp Act excise. 
They could see no reason why it would not work. 65 

It is useless to study historical "might have beens" unless they 
help to clarify understanding of our actual history. The Stamp 
Act has been accepted as the starting point of the American 
Revolution, and a sense of inevitability has grown up about that 
war. No war is inevitable, and a statement of Revolutionary 
origin in 1765 is too glib. There were persons on both sides of 
the Atlantic who knew what was at stake: the dissolution of 
mercantilism and the growth of colonial sovereignty. This little 
study does not change the interpretation of the Revolution, but 
it is hoped that it may help to bring about a brighter clarification 

62 McCulloh, "General Thoughts . . . ," Huntington Manuscripts, 1480. 

63 William Knox, Controversy between Great Britain and her Colonies Reviewed (London, 
1769), 109; "Dr. Franklin thus delivers himself before the House of Commons . . . Having 
been asked, 'Is it not necessary to send troops to America to defend the Americans against 
the Indians?' The Doctor replies, 'No; by no means: it never was necessary. They defended 
themselves when they were but an handful, and the Indians much more numerous. They 
continually gained ground, and have driven the Indians over the mountains without any 
troops sent to their assistance from this country.' " 

6 * Cecilius Calvert to Horatio Sharpe, March 1, 1763, Archives of Maryland, XXXI, 530. 

65 Verner W. Crane, Benjamin Franklin's Letters to the Press, 35-75. Thomas Pownall 
(1722-1805) became more alive to the need for Anglo-American cooperation as the years 
went by and in 1803 suggested an Atlantic pact. John A. Schutz, "Thomas Pownall's 
Proposed Atlantic Federation," The Hispanic American Review, XXVI (May, 1946), 263-268. 

38 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of the problem of colonial administration. It may help to show 
that American independence rested on something more than 
American efforts and inspiration. The destiny of the American 
nation was not God-given, nor is it self -perpetuating. 




By Joseph Davis Applewhite 

Nearly ninety years ago a book was written which attempted 
to bring before the reading public, especially in the North, a 
picture of the complexity of southern society. Too many Ameri- 
cans, said the author, were "totally unconscious that her [the 
South's] citizens were ever divided into other than three classes 
— Cavaliers, Poor Whites, and Slaves." 1 Before the effect of D. R. 
Hundley's work could be felt the Civil War destroyed a great 
part of the social structure of this section. Succeeding genera- 
tions of students and writers have continued to accept the old 
three-class picture of the South, either from romantic sentiment 
or for dialectic advantage. 2 

Thus, almost a century after the publication of Hundley's 
Social Relations in Our Southern States, it has seemed wise to 
consider in detail some phases of life in the rural sections of 
South Carolina. This state has long been considered a model of 
southern life, and the conditions which held true for its farm 
population should obtain for similar rural peoples in most of 
the lower South. 

In analyzing this group the unpublished census for 1850 was 
of invaluable assistance. It furnished a wide variety of facts 
about the production of the farm population and gave some in- 
formation about the individuals as well. While there were certain 
gaps in the material, as the superintendent of the census ad- 
mitted, the general picture was correct, and "anyone who takes 
the trouble to compare results on certain points, will perceive 
how strikingly and truly the several enumerations harmonize," 
he concluded. 3 

1 Daniel R. Hundley, Social Relations in Our Southern States (New York, 1860), 10. 

2 Recent studies which recognize the importance of the large class of small- and middle- 
sized farmers are: Frank L. and Harriet C. Owsley, "The Economic Basis of Society in the 
Late Antebellum South," Journal of Southern History, VI (1940), 41-54; Harry L. Coles, Jr., 
"Some Notes on Slaveownership and Landownership in Louisiana, 1850-1860," Journal of 
Southern History, IX (1943), 381-394; Blanche Henry Clark, The Tennessee Yeomen, 18U0- 
1860 (Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1942); Herbert Weaver, Mississippi 
Farmers, 1850-1860 (Vanderbilt University Press, Nashville, Tenn., 1945). 

3 Statistical View of the United States . . . Being a Compendium of the Seventh Census 
(J. D. B. De Bow, Superintendent of the United States Census, A. O. P. Nicholson, Public 
Printer, Washington, 1854), 10. 


40 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Since a study of the entire farm population of the state would 
have been impossible, it is fortunate that South Carolina can be 
divided into four distinct sections. In each of these areas several 
counties were found suitable for detailed consideration by refer- 
ence to the published census for 1850 and by soil studies. Further 
checking determined the following counties as adequate samples : 
Georgetown for the tidewater area, Richland in the middle 
country between the fall line and the tidewater, Fairfield County 
in the piedmont, and Anderson County in the mountain area. 
While the generalizations made on such a basis may not be com- 
pletely correct in every case, to paraphrase De Bow, the results 
are strikingly harmonious. 

The results of the study can be classified most easily under 
three major heads: economic basis of society, the general agri- 
cultural picture, and the social life of the rural people. It must 
be noted that the groups dealt with almost exclusively are the 
farm operators with small acreage. The plantation owners have 
received more than adequate treatment elsewhere, often to the 
extent of completely overshadowing the much larger class of 
farmers in the mind of the general public. Indeed, one of the pur- 
poses of this study is to readjust this picture to something nearer 
proper perspective. 

That such a readjustment is necessary is indicated by the 
statement of W. T. Couch in Culture in the South that "Little is 
known about the great majority of Southern white population 
in former times." 4 The truth of this remark is amply demon- 
strated by a survey of most of the material written about the 
South. As late as 1900, one scholar said that "the non-slaveholders 
were a poor class of people, a sort of proletariat." 5 The unpub- 
lished census records throw much light on the composition of the 
farm population and help to revise the careless estimate of earlier 

In considering the population, it is important to learn of the 
place of origin of individuals. Almost ninety-five per cent of the 
rural population was born within the state or in the near-by 
states of Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. 6 This created 

*W. T. Couch (ed.), Culture in the South (Chapel Hill, 1934), ix. 

5 William A. Schaper, "Sectionalism and Representation in South Carolina." Reports 
American Historical, I (Washington, 1900), 254. 

"Seventh Census of the United States, Schedule I, Free Inhabitants (unpublished), for 
Anderson, Fairfield, Georgetown, and Richland counties. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 41 

an unusually homogeneous group with a common language, cus- 
toms, and a generally Protestant religious heritage. The small 
percentage of the farm population born outside the continental 
United States was largely from English-speaking countries, 
chiefly Ireland and Scotland, and was thus easily assimilated. 
While this picture is valid only for the sample counties, excluding 
the cosmopolitan population of the seaport towns, it is more than 
probable that it was rather generally true for the whole rural 

This homogeneity was further accentuated in 1850 by two addi- 
tional factors. Almost all of the farmers followed the same pat- 
tern of agriculture. Outside the narrow belt of rice land, the 
farmers of the whole state were interested in the growing of 
short staple cotton, corn, wheat, potatoes, and livestock, par- 
ticularly hogs. The soil and climate of the state made these 
crops possible and usually profitable. Differences in the sorts of 
crops raised were more apt to exist on farms of different sizes 
rather than between farms of the same size in different counties. 7 

The second factor making for unity was the large body of 
Negroes in society. The most natural question to arise in con- 
sidering any study of the rural population of the Old South is the 
ratio of slaveholders to nonslaveholders. The information supplied 
by the census records, when organized and properly correlated, 
provides an adequate basis for generalizing on this matter. The 
general population of the state in 1850 was 668,507, divided be- 
tween 274,563 whites, 384,984 Negroes, and 8,960 freemen. 8 The 
sample counties, each of them of about twenty thousand total 
population, showed the following percentage of slave population : 
Anderson County thirty-five per cent, Fairfield County sixty-six 
per cent, Richland County eighty-one per cent, and Georgetown 
County eighty-nine per cent. 9 

The picture becomes somewhat more interesting with the addi- 
tion of the percentage of the white population in each of the 
above counties which was slaveholding. Anderson County, in the 

7 Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Schedule IV, Production of Farms (un- 

8 A chart showing the comparative populations, production, and acres of improved and 
unimproved land has been compiled from the published census of 1850 and 1860 for all of 
the counties of the state by Mrs. Harriet Owsley. Since this has been found more usable than 
references to the census reports, hereinafter references to these statistics will be cited as the 
Owsley Chart. 

9 Owsley Chart. 

42 The North Carolina Historical Review 

upper part of the state, presents a more nearly balanced society 
where only thirty-five per cent of the population was slave and 
forty-two per cent of the whites owned slaves. This suggests a 
relatively large number of small slaveholders. The two middle 
counties, though lying next to one another geographically, dif- 
fered in ratio of slaveowners to those without slaves. Fairfield, 
the piedmont area, showed a three-fourth to one-fourth ratio 
in favor of slaveholders, while Richland, largely below the fall 
line, had a two-thirds to one-third majority of non-slaveholders. 
Only about a quarter of the white population owned slaves in 
Georgetown County which was nearly ninety per cent Negro in 
composition, thus making it more nearly like the generally held 
picture of a three-class society. 10 

By considering the statistical information available from the 
census figures it becomes apparent that in 1850 the pattern of 
slaveholding in the whole state, as represented by the sample 
counties, was one of many small farmers owning less than ten 
slaves in all and generally with fewer than five slaves able to 
work in the fields. The counties differed widely from one another 
in this matter. In Anderson County more than seventy-five per 
cent of all slaveholders owned fewer than ten slaves; Fairfield, 
forty-five per cent, Richland, thirty-five per cent; and George- 
town twenty-eight per cent. 11 

Only in this latter county was there a definite trend toward 
the concentration of many slaves in a few hands. Here twenty-two 
men, making up about twenty per cent of the slaveholding 
population, each owned between one hundred and two hundred 
slaves. 12 Obviously the type of land and the growing of rice and 
sea-island cotton, both of which required considerable investment 
of money and labor, prevented the small farmer from expanding 
in this tidewater area. Even in Georgetown County a few non- 
slaveholders owned a great deal of improved land and produced 
good crops of rice; some thirteen of such men were listed as 
growing more than half a million bushels of rice each in 1850. 13 

As any farmer in the state would have agreed, however, the 
mere number of slaves owned was scarcely an accurate guide to 

10 Seventh Census, Schedules I and II (unpublished), Anderson, Fairfield, Georgetown, and 
Richland counties. 

11 Seventh Census, Schedule II (unpublished). 

12 Seventh Census, Schedule II (unpublished), Georgetown County. 

18 Seventh Census, Schedule II, IV (unpublished), Georgetown County. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 43 

the economic status of the master. The figures for total slave- 
holding are deceptive since they suggest a large working force. 
The average proportion of working slaves in the total number, 
even in the sugar and rice areas where the slaves were chosen 
with care, was generally one-half. In the old plantations where 
the slaves were largely inherited, the workers would be no more 
than a third of the total number. 14 

Many of the non-slaveholding farmers preferred to hire slaves 
rather than to bother with the responsibility of owning them. 
Many a man is listed in the census as owning many acres of im- 
proved land and producing larger crops than could be explained 
by his own efforts. This situation leads one to suspect that such 
a farmer hired either slaves or white laborers or that he was a 
prodigious worker. Such facts are difficult to ascertain exactly and 
generalizations about possibilities are dangerous. 

The practice of hiring slaves is amply substantiated by a 
variety of records, particularly wills and inventories. One of the 
more illuminating scraps of such information comes from a note 
written by a widow with three small children. "I am living to 
myself now and I have a little place of my one (close to a kins- 
man) . I haired a little negro boy to work my land and help me." 15 

There is some evidence that the class of white laborers may 
have been larger than is ofteu realized. A great many males are 
found on the census rolls listed as "farm worker" or "laborer." 
Unfortunately the average person of this class was neither a 
letter writer nor a diarist. In a few cases he might be a newly 
arrived immigrant, though Governor Paul Hamilton was com- 
plaining as early as 1805 that too few white workers were coming 
into the state to counteract the great increase in the number of 
Negroes. 16 

One South Carolinian, after having tried the wonders of the 
West, expressed a desire to return from the wilds of Ohio. 

I am bound to come to South Carolina as soon as I can get my 
business fixt. ... I can do very well in Ohio I can get from ten 
to twelve dollars per month for working on a farm and goods is 
low in Ohio. . . . 

14 Frederick L. Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States (New York, 1856), 63. 

15 Note dated March 7, 1855, Fulmer-Clark Papers (South Caroliniana Library, University 
of South Carolina, Columbia ) . 

18 Quoted from the Charleston Courier, December 2, 1805, in Theodore D. Jervey, The Slave 
Trade (The State Company, Columbia), 54. 

44 The North Carolina Historical Review 

But I have always worked hard on a farm or driving a team 
and if I can get lighter employment in your state I'd bee pleased 
to come. I'd like stage driving very well, I think. . . , 17 

It may be assumed from this letter that a worker in South 
Carolina would receive less than one in Ohio, but not much less 
or the writer would scarcely have considered returning to work 
in the state. 

An authority on agriculture in the South concludes from a 
study of the published census records that in 1850 there was an 
average of one free white laborer for every 2.2 farms in the 
area. 18 This is a factor overlooked in the general stereotype of 
the Old South. 

Somewhere in the picture must come the overseer. There seems 
no reason to deny Hundley's assertion that most of the overseers 
came from the yeoman class. They filled a useful and important 
function on the larger plantations and were often not drunken 
brutal drivers but men "of sterling worth and incorruptable 
integrity' ' who might even display gentlemanly instincts "though 
but little polished in speech and manners." 19 

Generally the small farmer had little need for an overseer, and 
if his slaves grew numerous enough to require additional manage- 
ment he used one of his older sons or nephews for this work. If 
he did hire an overseer the man was generally considered a 
member of the family as far as social status went, ate with the 
family, and "in many cases it is difficult to distinguish employer 
from employee." 20 

In addition to the subtle classification from planter down to 
white laborer, there existed a class which has received attention 
from a variety of sources, the poor white. Literature of the 
nineteenth century is full of references to such a class of whites, 
depressed economically, ignored socially, and, according to later 
writers, weakened physically by fever, hookworm, and pellagra. 
Still, since the enumerators failed to characterize this class 
separately it is difficult to separate the poor whites from the body 
of agricultural workers. 

17 Oliver Clark to Henry B. Clark, Fulmer-Clark Papers. 

18 Lewis C. Gray, History of Agriculture in the South to 1860 (Washington, 1933), I, 501. 

19 Hundley, Social Relations, 203. 

20 Hundley, Social Relations, 85. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 45 

There exists no really satisfactory basis for deciding who was 
a "poor white" and who was merely a poor farmer. Slaveholding 
is the first point of separation, for none of the first group could 
have owned slaves. But there is a tremendous portion of the 
farming class which did not own slaves. Landowning, which 
would certainly be a key, is not easily discovered since there is no 
direct statement in the census of whether land is owned or rented. 
It is thus scarcely possible that the thirty-five per cent of the 
non-slaveholding farmers without land in Georgetown County 
were "poor whites." 21 And the thought of using as a basis the 
lack of any farm implements and any staple crop is negated by 
the frequent examples of young men beginning to farm with 
tools, stock, and even land loaned by friends and relatives. 

One clearly expressed theory of the origin of the poor whites 
is that they are "the wrecks left by an unfortunate industrial 
system." The author further asserts that with the disappearance 
of the dignity of labor and the lack of family connections to make 
good credit to buy slaves, the poor but honest white fell lower 
in the social scale. "The ignorance and poverty alone were suf- 
ficient to crush the laboring white. . . . add to this the lack of a 
useful and respectable employment, the origin and perpetuation 
of the poor whites becomes plain enough." In the tidewater area 
this situation forced these whites into less desirable land. 22 

Perhaps a study of the size of the landholdings will give some 
further basis for better classification of the rural peoples. An 
intensive comparison of both the total landholdings and the total 
improved acreage of the farmers living in the sample counties 
leads to interesting generalizations. The comparisons between 
the slaveholding farmers and their non-slaveholding neighbors 
adds further detail to the picture. 

In considering the holdings of improved land in the sample 
counties several factors appear. First of all, the differences be- 
tween these basic groups was much greater for total land held 
than for improved land. Secondly, while in almost every classifi- 
cation of improved land holding (under fifty acres, fifty to one 

21 Seventh Census, Schedule I (unpublished), Georgetown County. 

22 Schaper, "Sectionalism," 306. A further note to this effect is found in the comment of 
the British traveler, James Sterling, Letters From the Slave States (London, 1857), 65-66. He 
suggests that whenever a whole class of people are grouped together as poor white, or the 
Irish and Scotch cotter, and the English "Chawbacon," their state is the result of some 
abuse of land owning. 

46 The North Carolina Historical Review 

hundred acres, and the like) the non-slaveholder was behind his 
neighbor with Negroes, the difference was generally not great. 
In other words, both the slaveholder and non-slaveholder with 
small acreages tended to have only as much land as the owner 
could work with his family or with his slaves. And a farmer with 
several sons of working age might produce more than a neighbor 
with several slaves and no sons. 

Farmers with less than one hundred acres of improved land 
make up nearly three-fourths of the non-slaveholders and more 
than one-half of the slaveowners in the sample counties. 23 It is 
safe to generalize from a detailed study of the census figures and 
to suggest that as a rule in South Carolina the majority of the 
non-slaveholding farmers worked less than fifty acres of im- 
proved land while those with slaves were apt to have twice as 
much land. The produce of this increased acreage was often no 
more profitable at the end of the year when it became necessary 
to deduct the increased expense of labor from the total income. 

There is little doubt, however, that in 1843 the majority of 
farmers in the state were satisfied with the system of slavery 
and were anxious to follow at least a part of the advice of a 
speaker before the Agricultural Society who felt that the first 
duty of a farmer was to clear himself of debt by rigid economy. 
When this was done, continued the speaker, "I see no surer way 
to profit, than through the improvement of their lands and the 
increase of their slaves." 24 

While the Charleston area may have some claim to an aristoc- 
racy based on family, there is little evidence to support the theory 
that the rest of the state was very conscious of class differences. 
Even in the tidewater sections of the state, R. F. W. Allston com- 
mented on one wealthy old gentleman in the neighborhood: "He 
was formerly the overseer (having begun as cattle drover just as 
Foxworth did with me)." 25 And Allston, certainly a member of 
the aristocracy if one existed, related the story of a man who 
began his career as a wood sawyer with his only slave in the pit 
at the other end of the saw. When passers-by jeered at such 
exertions, the laborer answered defiantly, "Never mind, damn ye, 

23 Seventh Census, Schedule I (unpublished). 

2i Proceedings of the State Agricultural Society, November 30, 1843 (Columbia, S. C, 
1844), 410. 

25 R. F. W. Allston Family Papers, April 24, 1858 (typed copies, South Carolina Library, 
University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

Society in Rural South Carolina 47 

I will own your property yet." In 1858 he held more than 40,000 
acres. 26 

But mere ownership of land even in vast quantities was not 
enough to change a farmer into a planter. The land must be tilled 
productively and with a minimum of waste. The earliest settlers 
of the Carolinas were filled with the expectation that the area 
would soon produce all manner of exotic plants, especially citrus 
fruits, olives, mulberry trees for silk culture, and fine grapes for 
wine. Some of the more conservative farmers who had never 
expected success in silk plantations tried tobacco. The staple 
grew well in the interior of the state, but that section was isolated 
from market by poor roads, and getting the tobacco down to 
Charleston "was attended by an expense of labor almost equal 
to its value, and a loss of time equal, at least, to a voyage to 
Europe." 27 

In the latter part of the eighteenth century the only really 
successful crops for export were rice and laboriously produced 
indigo. A few settlers in the pine regions were able to gather 
and market naval stores, but as late as 1850 this enterprise was 
limited to a very small percentage of the population. That more 
farmers in this area did not undertake the business is surprising, 
for in good years the profits were generally about $300 per hand. 
Even when the turpentine had to be carried some distance to 
market the profits were more than $200 for each worker. 28 

By early nineteenth century, however, a pattern for the agri- 
culture of the state was established which continued for nearly 
a hundred years. Sea-island cotton flourished in the narrow strip 
of land adjacent to the ocean. Once-profitable indigo had disap- 
peared with the advent of chemical dyes, and rice plantations 
spread over most of the swampy sections of the low country. 
The area above the tidewater was increasingly a cotton and corn 
producing country. 

In the lower tier of counties in South Carolina for almost half 
a century the production of long-staple cotton seemed a more im- 
portant part of the economy than the amount raised would 
justify. When properly handled, the average fibres were about 

26 R. F. W. Allston Family Papers, April 24, 1858. 

27 Message of Governor David Johnson, November 29, 1843, Reports and Resolutions of the 
General Assembly of South Carolina, 18U7 (Columbia, South Carolina, 1847), 159-160. 

28 De Bow's Review, VIII ( January- June, 1848), 450. 

48 The North Carolina Historical Review 

two inches long and commanded a fancy price, but the planting 
and harvesting of the crop demanded excessive amounts of labor 
and the profits from it were little higher than from the more 
ordinary varieties grown inland. 29 

Rice, though very laborious to grow, was a very marketable 
crop. The average acre of well-tilled rice land would commonly 
produce from thirty-five to sixty bushels of rice of about forty- 
five pounds each. In the rough state this rice sold for about one 
dollar a bushel. 30 

The total rice production for the state in 1850 was approxi- 
mately 159,930,613 pounds; that of the, state of Georgia, 38,- 
950,691 pounds, of which Chatham County produced almost 
one-half; and that of Louisiana, 4,425,349 pounds. With a total 
of 46,765,040 pounds, Georgetown County grew more rice than 
the states of Georgia and Louisiana combined. 31 

In the sample counties, with the exception of Georgetown, rice 
was a very minor consideration as the land was not suitable for 
this cereal. Even in Georgetown County a majority of non- 
slaveholders grew no rice, although those who did were in the 
upper bracket of producers. Of the slaveholders, 6.66 per cent, 
and of the non-slaveholders, 4.44 per cent, raised between 250,000 
pounds and 500,000 pounds of rice. 32 

Early settlers in the upcountry had secured the most fertile 
spots along the river bottoms and had begun to wear out the soil 
with intensive cultivation. A great part of the land was devoted 
to cotton, a practice which was meeting with increased disfavor 
from reformers of agriculture. William Gregg, in attempting to 
wean his fellow South Carolinians away from this devotion to 
cotton, added the following judgment: 

Cotton has been to South Carolina what the mines of Mexico 
were to Spain — it has produced us such an abundant supply of 
all the luxuries and elegancies of life, with so little exertion on 
our part that we have become enervated . . . and unprepared to 
meet the state of things, which sooner or later must come about. 33 

The advocates of continuing cotton culture could produce some 
interesting justifications for its use, however. One authority felt 

29 Gray, Agriculture, I, 56. 

30 Olmsted, Seaboard Slave States, 385-388. 

31 Owsley Chart. 

32 Seventh Census, 1850, Schedule IV (unpublished). 

33 De Bow's Review, VIII (January- June, 1850), 138. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 49 

that the introduction of cotton had been a blessing to the cause 
of temperance by lessening the production of fruit for brandy. 
This noxious beverage had been responsible for dotting the land- 
scape with distilleries which had demoralized society "to a fright- 
ful degree." 34 

Not only did this crop improve the morality of the state but it 
added to the dignity of labor. "Wives and daughters may con- 
veniently and safely share with the husband and father. While 
he traces the furrow, they, protected by their sunbonnets, eradi- 
cate the weeds with a light hoe." 35 

In actual practice most of the labor of tilling the soil was ex- 
ceedingly primitive. A description by Olmsted of a gang of slaves 
readying a field for cotton is probably more typical than the 
"light hoe." The slaves carried manure to the field in baskets and 
spread it with their hands between the rows of last year's crop, 
while other slaves with clumsy hoes pulled the ridges down over 
the manure to make the new rows for planting. 36 

Although most of the farmers refused to try out the new plows 
and skimmers to lighten the labor of cultivation, they did experi- 
ment with new varieties of seed. One farmer wrote his brother 
that the "mastodon cotton is considered a humbug & is not half 
so much esteemed in the southwest as it is here." From his own 
experience he suggested that the best farmers would use the best 
common seed "& don't have your rows more than 3 feet apart & 
have the cotton very close in the drill, say six inches" to suit the 
land. 37 

Another enterprising farmer in the Pendleton district made in 
1848, working three hands on twenty-five acres of land, twenty- 
seven thousand pounds of seed cotton and provisions for family 
and stock. The land was all hilly and had been purchased five 
years previously at four dollars an acre. He manured the land, 
planted the seed previously wet and rolled in ashes, two bushels 
to the acre. Later he thinned the stock to a stand ten inches apart 
on poor land, and twenty inches on the best of his soil. 38 

34 Samuel Dubose, "Address Delivered at the 17th Anniversary of the Black Oak Agricul- 
tural Society," April 27, 1858. 
^DuBose, "Address." 

36 Olmsted, Seaboard Slave States, 400. 

37 H. H. Townes to W .A. Townes, March 29, 1847, Townes Papers (South Caroliniana 
Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

38 De Bow's Review, IX (July-December, 1850), 106. 

50 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The average small farmer, whether as careful or not as the one 
mentioned above, depended upon his cotton for most of his yearly 
cash. Seldom was his production more than a few bales, as many 
receipts of the period testify. One such bill from a small store- 
keeper runs: "Bought of Wm. Fulmer 10 bales of cotton . . . 
$205.25." From this sum was subtracted the balance due for 
purchases at the store and seven dollars insurance on the cotton. 39 
Another small farmer sold six bales of cotton averaging three 
hundred and fifty pounds each for a total of $141.24. 40 

With such prices for cotton it is little wonder that many of the 
farmers both large and small were turning to other staple crops 
by 1850. At least one of the Anderson County planters wrote 
De Bow's Review that the profit from a well cultivated farm in 
his section of the state was only three and one-half per cent on 
the capital invested, and that in the lower part of the state the 
profits were under five per cent. 41 

Nevertheless, most of the farmers and planters continued to 
grow this staple, and in spite of bad weather, boll-worms, crab 
grass, and low prices, believed that a successful crop would en- 
able them to clear their debts and perhaps expand their holdings. 

There was not, however, the complete devotion to cotton cul- 
ture present in the state that is generally assumed. Perhaps the 
plea for general diversification noted on all sides by the middle 
of the century, or the realization of the small returns from plant- 
ing cotton, or a combination of both factors led many farmers of 
the state away from cotton entirely. Whatever the reasons, a 
survey of the sample counties indicates that a considerable per- 
centage of the farmers were not planting any cotton. 

It can be seen that in Anderson County more than ninety per 
cent of the non-slaveholders raised less than three bales of cotton 
each and more than fifty-five per cent of the farmers with slaves 
were in the same category. Fairfield County farmers with three 
bales of cotton or less each showed the following percentage: 
thirty-eight per cent of the non-slaveholders and seventeen per 
cent of the slaveholders. Richland County had eighty-five per 
cent of the non-slaveholders raising three bales of cotton or less 

3 9 Receipt dated July 12, 1848, Fulmer-Clark Papers. 

40 Receipt dated March 5, 1849, Smith Papers. 

41 Gray, Agriculture, II, 707. 

Society in Rural South Carolina* i Si 

each and forty-one per cent of the slaveholders; Oeor&etcWn 
County farmers raised practically no cotton. 42 

A careful study of the comparative production of cotton and 
corn per acre among farmers having the same amounts of im- 
proved land indicates that the production per acre was almost 
identical for those with slaves and without slaves. Actually a 
comparison of fifteen farmers from both classes taken at random 
from the sample counties shows that the farmers with slaves 
grew less cotton and slightly more corn than their non- 
slaveholding neighbors. 43 This was probably due to the fact that 
the former had more hands and stock to feed. 

This dependence upon corn for food was universal in the state, 
with the possible exception of the rice counties. 44 In the low 
country the prize yield of corn per acre had gone to R. F. W. All- 
ston for 105 bushels per acre. 45 

These figures do not seem very important until they are com- 
pared with the generally accepted provisions for an average farm. 
In the will for an Anderson County farmer, the provisions for a 
year for his farm of 165 acres and two slaves included only one 
hundred bushels of corn, twenty-five bushels of wheat, five hun- 
dred pounds of pork, and two hundred pounds of "good cotton 
seed." 46 

Wheat, the other major grain crop, is of less importance in 
the economy of South Carolina. In only Anderson and Fairfield 
counties, of the samples studied, was any considerable amount of 
wheat grown, and much of it was doubtless for sale to the planters 
in the lower part of the state. 

Occasionally the farmers found it necessary to buy flour out- 
side South Carolina, as one wrote in 1845 : 

Many persons in our district . . . will feed their negroes on 
flour & save their little corn entirely for their horses. Tell Mother 
she had best do this & if she is compelled to buy, to get flour 
cheap from Tennessee. Bake the flour into hard biscuit or light 
bread, & way out the rations to the negroes. 47 

^Seventh Census, 1850, Schedule IV (unpublished). 
^Seventh Census, 1850, Schedule IV (unpublished). 

44 Report of the State Agricultural Society, 1844, Omniad, IX, 73. 

45 Pendleton Farmers' Society, Records, 1826-1920, Minutes, October 12, 1860 (typed copy 
in South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

48 Anderson County Will Book, 1854-1876, 57 (typed copy in South Caroliniana Library, 
University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

47 H. H. Townes to wife, August 16, 1845, Townes Papers. 

52 The North Carolina Historical Review 

T6 continue further this sort of study for each of the minor 
crops would prove of little value. Almost every farmer in both 
classes grew some oats, hay, peas and beans, and potatoes, usually 
sweet potatoes, for the needs of his family and stock. 

To a much greater extent than has been known the average 
farmer with small acreage was self-sufficient. It is true that he 
might buy meat or hay to supplement his own production, but 
this was generally done only when it was cheaper to buy than 
to raise the animals. Late in the autumn of 1848, one farmer 
wrote that Kentucky pork was selling at eight cents a pound and 
was expected to be even cheaper. "I have bought two thousand 
pounds & will make my own raising supply the balance of my 
wants." 48 Why should an intelligent farmer divert a part of his 
labor to a less profitable crop when it better suited his economy 
to purchase more cheaply a part of his supplies? 

It is possible that much of the misconception about the one-crop 
economy of the state is derived from the emphasis which the 
various Agricultural Societies of South Carolina placed upon 
diversification. As early as 1784 there had been enough active 
interest in some sort of farmers' organization to bring together 
members to talk over their common problems, thus providing 
a "useful capital from which to draw benefit." 49 

In spite of the literary language used in the reports, the forma- 
tion of county agricultural societies had been advantageous to 
the state. There were at least eleven such groups by 1823. Some 
of them were little more than dinner clubs for the wealthier 
planters, for one of these was forced to put a limit on the number 
of dishes and wine offered by each host in turn "to put the richer 
and poorer contributors on the same footing." 50 And the forma- 
tion of a state organization helped persuade the state legislature 
to authorize a soil survey by Edmund Ruffin in 1839. 51 

The main emphasis of this society and of all the county organi- 
zations was the improvement of the soil and the practicing of 
better methods of farming. To this end speeches filled the air, 
competitions were encouraged, and prizes were offered. One 
speaker urged all farmers to join their local societies whether or 

48 Note from H. H. Townes, November 29, 1848, Townes Papers. 

49 Introduction to Proceedings of the Agricultural Convention of the State Agricultural 
Society of South Carolina from 1839 to 1845 (Columbia, S. C, 1846), Omniad, IX. 

m David Doar, A Sketch of the Agricultural Society of St. James, Santee, 23. 
D1 Introduction, Proceedings of Agricultural Convention, 5. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 53 

not they felt able to write and speak well. "For he who under- 
stands a matter can make it understood by another," and many 
of the most valuable suggestions had come from plain farmers 
unpracticed at writing. 52 

Governor George McDuffie directed all of his noted eloquence in 
a speech before the State Agricultural Society stressing the 
necessity for conserving the land. The lands of South Carolina 
could not compete with the fresh lands of the Southwest. Even 
in that favored area the planters were abusing their soil and 
driving their slaves in an effort to obtain more profits, an example 
which this state should note and avoid. 53 

From this study of the small farmers in South Carolina it is 
seen that many of these warnings were unnecessary. Perhaps 
the examples of the larger planters who were trying to make 
money as rapidly as possible and the constant reiteration of this 
problem by speakers tended to give a picture of the farmers of 
the state as devoted to cotton alone. The passage of time has 
exaggerated the problem even more. No doubt there were many 
farmers who profited by Joel Poinsett's advice to cultivate only 
as much land as could be properly manured and tended. It should 
be seen, he continued, that a farmer saves more labor and expense 
in raising one hundred bushels of corn from five acres than he 
does from ten acres with less productive methods. To further 
this idea, the farmer should learn the real value of manure in- 
stead of merely counting the initial cost. 54 

Further evidence that many of the farmers were willing 
to try new experiments is supplied by Daniel Lee, editor of the 
Southern Cultivator, himself a northerner. In discussing the 
plantations which he had seen in Georgia and South Carolina 
he added that nothing had impressed him so much as the well- 
constructed terraces and ditches. "In this matter, the planters 
of these states have excelled all we have witnessed elsewhere 
in the Union, and we have seen most of it." 55 

But even skillful rebuilding of the soil and careful rotation of 
crops could not solve all of the problems of the farmer. One of 
the most serious, and at times almost unmanageable, of these was 

52 John B. O'Neall, Proceedings of Agricultural Convention, 215. 

53 George McDuffie, Proceedings of Agricultural Convention, 98. 

54 Joel R. Poinsett, Proceedings of Agricultural Convention, 249. 

55 Quoted in Gray, Agriculture, 801. 

54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the question of credit. Many farmers, hoping to improve their 
lot by increased landholdings or larger numbers of slaves, would 
borrow on the land and slaves already owned. Just enough of 
them were able to make sufficient profits to pay off their debts 
and thus encourage those less able to follow the practice. The 
latter either lost their land immediately or were able to stave off 
their creditors through a good many agonizing years, always 
hoping for better times and higher profits. Meanwhile, in such 
cases, the land was seriously worn in the attempt to turn out im- 
mediate profits, and neither the debtor nor the creditor was 
likely to achieve any return. 

The system of signing notes often involved some friend who 
had agreed to support the note in a moment of mistaken 
generosity. In times of depression a great many otherwise thrifty 
farmers were severely strained to meet such an obligation. It was 
quite a common practice to ask a friend to become co-signer on 
a personal note as casually as one would ask the loan of a horse 
for the afternoon. And the request in both cases was generally 

In discussing a note for $380 due an Augusta firm by a country 
merchant, the manager suggested that a twelve-month note 
would be acceptable "with the endorsement of Richard Harris. 
We have no doubt Mr. Harris will do this as he seems to have 
dealings with you." 56 

The most frequent form of credit was that between members 
of a family. In one illuminating note between brothers, the debtor 
was asking that the addressee use his influence with still another 
brother to prevent his having the farm sold for money owed him. 
Since there were older debts than that owed brother George, any 
cash received from the forced sale would be absorbed by the 
creditors having prior claim. The other creditors, however, were 
willing to allow the debtor to pay a little each year, if George 
would just hold his temper in check and wait for his money as the 
others were doing. 57 

Some of the farmers, despairing of ever paying their debts, 
took the relatively simple way of moving into another state. 
Others moved to seek better lands and higher profits from their 

56 Bill to H. B. Clark, May 31, 1858, Fulmer-Clark Papers, 
w W. Smith to E. P. Smith, October 13, 1854, Smith Papers. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 55 

labor. One man wrote back from Mississippi giving glowing re- 
ports of corn and waist-high cotton, though he added that chills 
and fevers had determined him to seek more healthful lands in 
Arkansas or Texas. 58 Another wrote back to South Carolina that 
the land around Kosciusco, Mississippi, was fine for growing 
cotton, corn, and hay. In addition, a clever man could make a 
fortune by training dogs to run Negroes at twenty-five dollars for 
each runaway caught. 59 

The general pattern of the migration from east to west by 1850 
is indicated by the fact that nearly 200,000 Southern whites in 
other states gave South Carolina as their birthplace. This is 
brought to a more personal level by a badly spelled note from an 
old lady. 

My children is all scatring of from me. Elithebeth is gone to 
Texes last fall there went by land Tuck them 7 weeks to git 
there. . . . Martha is gone to Alabamer My son Nelson is gon to 
Alabamer and are living close together. . . . My daughter Mary 
and companion is living with me this year. 60 

Just as this old lady and her daughter's family were trying to 
run a farm despite all of the disadvantages of agriculture in this 
state, so were many thousands of small farmers. And their life 
at home, neither that of poor whites nor of "aristocrats" with 
traditional columned mansion, deserves some attention at this 
point, for the yeomen farmers are generally ignored. Discounting 
the simple, untidy cabins which gave many travelers the im- 
pression that all the farmers were shabby folk, the majority of 
farm homes in the state were comfortable and reasonably well 
kept. One very clear description of a small place with forty-five 
acres of cotton comes from a letter of this period: 

I have as good a double log cabin as I ever saw. It has a passage 
covered of 12 feet nailed boards for a roof, a good plank for 
floors four windows with good framed shutters with iron hinges 
& hooks & what is a great thing in this country both of my chim- 
neys have brick backs & hearths. ... I have besides the Big House 
two good negro cabins & a good corn crib with smoke house & the 
negroes have 3 chicken pens.® 1 

58 G. T. Brewton to Smith, June 23, 1848, Smith Papers. 

59 Thomas Priestly to Smith, September 2, 1848, Smith Papers. 

60 Mrs. Mary Fulmer to sister, March 7, 1855, Fulmer-Clark Papers. 

61 S. A. Townes, undated, Townes Papers, 1846-1854. 

56 The North Carolina Historical Review 

This was typical of the semi-frontier life under which many 
of the farmers began. As they prospered, the average farmer was 
apt to cover the logs with boards and add a veranda. In some 
instances the women of the family were apt to insist on columns 
as a mark of respectability. The Calhoun family added this touch 
to "Fort Hill" long after the original structure was completed. 62 

D. R. Hundley, in a considerate vein, explained that while many 
middle-class farmers were negligent in keeping up their homes 
and outbuildings, the average farmer was frequently "anxious 
to have everything look neat and comfortable." 63 And the home 
of the average farmer was undeniably pleasant and comfortable. 
A visitor from the low country described the "old farm house" 
located in the upcountry and approached by an avenue of syca- 
mores. "The house is surrounded by shade trees of all kinds 
which throw a pleasant coolness even in the hottest part of the 
day." 64 

The interior of these homes can be rather accurately described 
from the inventories and wills of the period. The keen eye of a 
neighbor appraising an estate was apt to reveal details about the 
condition of many of the household treasures in noting "one worn 
cherry bedsted," or "old walnut falling table, leaf missing." 

The household effects of a free woman of color were valued in 
1855 at less than fifty dollars. They included three beds, one 
chest, three chairs, one table, one candlestick, a cupboard, flax- 
wheel, and "sundry crockery, jars, and potware." 65 This was 
certainly a minimum household. 

It is not, however, the individual cases of this sort which are 
valuable but the composite picture which they furnish of the 
surroundings of the average farmer in South Carolina. A variety 
of wills and inventories leave definite impressions of a typical 
home. One such contained an eight-day clock, a rocking chair, 
brass fire dogs and tools, a number of cooking utensils, all care- 
fully noted by the appraiser, a lot of dishes generally in odd 
numbers, glassware usually including one decanter. The furniture 
might vary in quantity but this, an average home, had five beds 
and bedding including "1 long poplar bedstead, 1 maple camp bed 

« 2 Charles M. Wiltse, John C. Calhoun, Nullifier, 1829-1839 (Indianapolis, 1949), 157. 
03 Hundley, Social Relations, 85. 

«* Christopher Oeland to Mrs. E. P. Smith, July 30, 1848, Smith Papers. 
r ' 5 Appraisal of Theodosia Strawther, Anderson Appraisals and Sales, October 18, 1855, vol. 
3 (Typed copy in South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

Society in Rural South Carolina 57 

... 2 stands, white bed curtains." Five hair trunks, one chest, six 
Windsor chairs with split bottoms, and three with wooden bottoms 
just about furnished the home. 66 

With a constant round of tasks to be done on the farm, no 
matter what its size, there is little wonder that the social life 
of the average farmer was centered in his home. As society 
matured, the church and the school added to this life other simple 
pleasures. In spite of travelers' tales of a constant round of 
house-raisings, corn-shuckings, gander-pullings, and the like, the 
small farmer was not apt to get very far from his fields except 
for local political rallies, fairs, and elections. The wild excitement 
of Christmas holidays was apt to be reflected in accounts at the 
local store for brandy and cigars, or "1 bottle Ma. wine, $1.00; 
4 rockets, $2.00." 67 

One pastime which was rather general among all classes of 
farm society was the visiting of friends and relatives. The cordial 
attitude of hospitality was underscored by a lady who wrote a 
friend urging a visit : "You need not have the least fear of caus- 
ing any trouble or fatigue to my housekeeping, for I am a 
miserable housekeeper and I never allow my domestic affairs to 
trouble me." 68 This state of affairs might have been the truth or 
a polite fiction to allay a friend's anxiety over causing trouble. 

The average farmer's home was well supplied with food and an 
inexhaustible number of chickens. Beds were always available 
for numbers of guests amazing to modern hostesses, especially 
at family reunions. With only the trouble and expense of trans- 
portation to consider, this practice of visiting relations was 
probably the least expensive way of amusing oneself in those 
days. Certainly the presence of any visitor was a welcome break 
in the monotony of isolated country homes, large or small, and 
almost every letter written during this period closed with a 
sincere invitation for the recipient to come for a visit. 

Perhaps the most important reason for visits across the state 
was a family wedding or funeral. To these affairs almost all of 
the kinfolk to the third and fourth generation were asked, and 
one typical account mentions that only the relatives were present, 

66 Estate of Elizabeth Sawyer, September 4, 1850, Anderson Appraisals, 111, 163-4. 

67 Bill dated December 23, 1854, Fulmer-Clark Papers. 

68 M. P. Singleton to Augusta Converse, July 3, 1851, Singleton Family Letters (Manu- 
script Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C). 

58 The North Carolina Historical Review 

"they, you know are numerous." 69 Another account explains that 
because of a recent death in the family only relatives were 
present at a wedding. Enough of them managed to arrive, how- 
ever, "to fill comfortably two very large rooms," and the following 
day a dinner was served to "30 sitting down at one table which 
was almost too much for the large dining room." 70 

During the time spent around the home there was a good deal 
of reading. It was chiefly newspapers, often agricultural journals 
or religious books judging from the reports gathered in ap- 
praisals of households effects. Often the identity was hidden by 
a careless evaluator under the heading "1 lot old books, .75," or 
"2 books history, .50." Fortunately there exist more explicit 
inventories. One farmer's library contained "1 book Life of 
Christ, 1 do. American Lawyer, 1 farmer's Barn Book, 1 book 
Information for the People, ... 1 History of Sacred Mountains." 71 

The appraisal of a widow's property was apt to mention be- 
tween the sheep shears and the turned bedstead, such works as 
"3 vol. Children of the Abbey, 15 vol. Evangelical Family Library, 
1 Psalm Book, & 1 Village Hymns." 72 

It is not possible to judge the taste of the people entirely by 
the contents of their bookshelves, for too many of the books had 
probably been inherited with the bookcases and the secretaries 
which housed them. When the estate contained only a few books, 
however, it is probable that they were read and reread. From the 
surveys of various libraries among the farm folk of this state it 
seems that the general reading was divided chiefly between 
religious works, some history and biography, notably Weems's 
Franklin and Washington, which appeared in many inventories, 
and a scattering of light novels. 

The libraries of lawyers and doctors among the farmers 
naturally contained a high percentage of professional books. 
Scattered among these volumes were usually a considerable num- 
ber of classics. Perhaps these were inherited from an earlier day 
when gentlemen read Horace for wit and Cicero for style, or they 
may have been textbooks of the owner's youth. It is doubtful 

69 H. H. Townes, May 9, 1847, Townes Papers. 

70 B. Coles to Marion Converse, March 11, 1853, Singleton Papers. 

71 Estate of David Skelton, April 23, 1856, Anderson Appraisals, IV, 88-89. 

72 Estate of Jane W. McMurry, November 29, 1852, Anderson Appraisals, III, 38. 

Society in Rural South Carolina 59 

whether their contents made much impression on the South 
Carolinian of 1850. 

The discussion of the reading matter available for the farm 
population brings up the natural question as to the education 
available to them. From the statistics furnished by the unpub- 
lished census of 1850 almost no head of a farm family admitted 
being illiterate, and in none of the sample counties did the il- 
literacy rate amount to as much as ten per cent of the farm popu- 
lation. 73 Even considering the figures in the published census for 
1850 which lists the number of white persons over twenty who 
could not read or write, the state stands up well for one of the 
"uneducated Southern states." 

Certainly it was not the fine school system which was responsi- 
ble for the low rate of illiteracy. Indeed there was nothing but 
criticism for the state schools in 1850. Three years before this 
time one of the legislators had remarked that "there is scarce 
a state in the union, in which so great an apathy exists on the 
subject of education of the people, as in the state of South Caro- 
lina." And another added that the free school system of the state 
was a failure. 74 

The plan had been established in 1848 to offer to each of the 
counties support at the rate of $300 for each member of the 
legislature from each county. This fund was to be administered 
by a local board of commissioners appointed by the legislature 
and serving without salaries. The amounts granted the counties 
was woefully insufficient for the numbers of children to be edu- 
cated and the local commissioners were not anxious to work at 
the matter. The additional stigma of "charity school" so often 
clung to these state supported institutions that many a poor but 
sturdy yeoman farmer refused to send his children to them. 

The education provided for the rural areas were generally of 
two types, the local day school which was the result of a sub- 
scription in the neighborhood, and the more impressive academy. 
The first type might develop sufficient reputation to draw stu- 
dents from the whole area and would grow into an academy, as 
did the "old field school" of Moses Waddell. Usually they provided 

73 Seventh Census, 1850 Schedule I (unpublished). 

74 Report of the Special Committee on Education, Reports and Resolutions of the General 
Assembly of South Carolina, 1847 (Columbia, 1848), 206. 

60 The North Carolina Historical Review 

simple primary classes with some advance instruction for the 
more promising pupils. A group of farmers in the upcountry 
signed an agreement to contribute a total of $600 annually to 
make possible an academy in the neighborhood. The building was 
to be "32 by 20 feet with a chimney at each end." The rates of 
tuition for the basic reading, writing, and arithmetic were $15 a 
session, with English grammar, geography, and mathematics $5 
extra. The addition of Latin and Greek raised the total tuition to 
$30 a session. 75 

In addition to the local schools, there was usually one agency 
in most neighborhoods which attempted to educate. This was the 
Sunday school. The movement began with great vigor in many 
villages of the state and soon lost its impetus. One young lady 
wrote quite frankly to a friend that her group of friends had 
tried to conduct such schools but had given up. "There are no poor 
people, & those of the better class were as well qualified to teach 
their children at home as those who would go to the church to 
do it " 76 

The Pendleton Sunday School Society, however, began a broad 
program to "have children and adults taught to read the Holy 
Bible and give them other instruction." A superintendent and 
teachers volunteered and the society began classes suitable to all 
stages of learning. The school was open to members of all de- 
nominations. Perhaps the most interesting part of the progress 
of this school was with the Negro slaves who were taught the 
Bible with the permission of their masters. 77 

Throughout the later ante-bellum period, though there may 
have been little attention paid to educating the slaves to read, 
there was a definite concern for teaching both black and white 
to know the Bible. And in the twenty years previous to the Civil 
War there were great efforts made in South Carolina to organize 
the Negroes into churches. After the split of the major denomina- 
tions from their northern brethren, the southern branch recruited 
Negro members with great vigor. In most of the smaller churches 
of the state there were mixed congregations segregated by seats, 
but at that time it was also a practice to segregate the sexes 
among the whites. 

75 Notice dated August 3, 1848, Smith Papers. 

76 A. W. to Harriet Simons, August 28, 1834, Simons Family Letters (South Caroliniana 
Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

77 Minutes and Accounts, Pendleton Sunday School Society, 1819-1934, June 24, 1820 (typed 
copy in South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

Society in Rural South Carolina 61 

It is believed that by 1860 South Carolina had more than 85,000 
Negroes as members of one of the four major denominations, 
or about one-fifth of the total slave population of that state. 78 
Undoubtedly many of the masters encouraged participation of 
their slaves in church membership not only as a spiritual or 
moral duty, but as a method of controlling them, for the primary 
lessons taught them were the beauties and joys of the future 
world if they were cheerful and obedient in this present vale of 

For the white members as well as the Negroes the churches 
were both a restraining force and an emotional outlet. Even a 
brief survey of the records left by rural churches in the state 
reveals this fact. 

Some of the white members were disciplined by their church 
for "excess drinking of spiritous liquors/' "Rumor or report of 
intemperate drinking," "bastardy and fornication," "Sins of 
drunkeness, offering to fite, running his family from home, also 
for Contempt of the Church when sent for to ancer the above." 79 

Perhaps not so well known among the controls which the 
church held over the local inhabitants was the pressure which 
the congregation exerted toward enforcing payment of debts. 
Two examples will serve to illustrate this point. 

Resolved that as sister Elizabeth Telford left this State en- 
debted to Dr. Senter and being satisfied that she could have 
settled the same and has not done so — that the letter of dismissal 
be detained until Dr. Senter be paid. 

Letter refused Br. H. E. Mellichamp until he should make 
satisfactory settlement of his debts. 80 

In a small socially knit rural area, refusal of membership in 
a church was a very potent factor for conformity to the accepted 
folkways and mores of the area. For a really important function 
of the rural churches was their social activity. Not only were 
there the weekly or bi-weekly services often followed by dinner 
on the ground, but also the protracted meeting and the larger 

78 Luther P. Jackson, "Religious Instruction of Negroes, 1830-1860, With Special Reference 
to South Carolina," Journal of Negro History, XV (1930), 107. 

79 Minutes, Big Creek Baptist Church, Anderson County, II, July 1, 1854 (typed copy in 
South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

80 Minutes, Sandy Level Baptist Church, Fairfield County, 49-50, (typed copy in South 
Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

62 The North Carolina Historical Review 

camp meetings. These affairs attracted crowds from all over 
the counties and often from neighboring localities. The social 
aspect of such a gathering was important. One lady wrote to 
have a new bonnet made for her and sent within two weeks, "as 
I have none that is decent to wear to the campmeeting." 81 An- 
other visitor commented that a meeting of this nature near 
Newberry attracted about four thousand people and "a great 
many splendid carriages were gathered." The scene was the 
usual one so often pictured, though here the "people seemed more 
temperate in the expression of their religious frenzy." 82 Perhaps 
the owners of the "splendid carriages" were in the majority. 

The protracted meeting was usually restricted to one church 
with the other local church members invited to attend the serv- 
ices. The custom was generally to hold two meetings a day for a 
week or two. The preaching in the morning and evening was 
broken by "a social meeting and an opportunity offered for new 
membership at four." 83 

Often among the rural areas the pastor was apt to be a circuit 
rider preaching every Sunday at a different charge, or a local 
farmer who was licensed to exhort. In more settled areas the 
preacher would be selected to reach the educational level of the 
congregation, and the more formal churches prided themselves 
on having highly cultured ministers. 

It would be scarcely possible to generalize for the whole popu- 
lation from a sampling such as this excerpt that many of the 
conditions described as typical in 1850 are still recognizable at 
the present in the rural South. The basic picture of the farm 
population in the middle of the nineteenth century is one of a 
people working to improve their lot individually and to advance 
the progress of their state. They were a folk largely of southern 
stock, born in South Carolina, and wedded to the idea of an agri- 
cultural economy based on slavery. Perhaps they were not pro- 
gressive enough to realize the balance needed by the state in 
industrial and commercial development. But as long as rice and 
cotton culture were profitable it would have been foolish to expect 

81 L. Townes to sister, July 24, 1841, Townes Papers. 

82 C. Oeland to Mrs. E. P. Smith, August 4, 1848, Smith Papers. 

88 Churchbook, Euhaw Baptist Church, Beaufort, 1831-1870, September 21, 1849, 84 (typed 
copy, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia). 

Society in Rural South Carolina 63 

the people to change from a known economy to one unknown, 
even with Utopian potentialities. 

The state was improving and the rural areas were prospering 
in 1850. This is attested by the records in the census for that 
year. Since this census material has been of such value to this 
study it is only fitting to add the words of the superintendent, 
J. D. B. De Bow, on the value of such records : 

Duty to coming generations requires that documents containing 
so many proofs relating to the history of the present should be 
carefully guarded from injury and harm. . . . They comprise no 
insignificant portion of every man, woman, and child living; and 
long after all those whose names they contain have passed from 
the earth, will they be appealed to as proof of our having lived, 
our place of residence, our children, and our property. 84 

84 The Seventh Census: Report of the Superintendent for December 1, 1852 (Robert Arm- 
strong, Printer, Washington, 1853), 127. 



By William T. Alderson 

On March 3, 1865, little more than a month before Lee's sur- 
render to Grant at Appomattox, President Lincoln approved an 
act of Congress to establish a Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, 
and Abandoned Lands. Better known as the Freedmen's Bureau, 
this agency was charged with the supervision and management 
of abandoned lands and "the control of all subjects relating to 
refugees and freedmen." The President was authorized to ap- 
point a Commissioner, who was to be responsible for the "man- 
agement and control" of the Bureau, and Assistant Commission- 
ers, who were to be assigned to the individual states to administer 
Bureau affairs. Major General Oliver Otis Howard was appointed 
Commissioner on May 12, 1865, and on his recommendation 
Captain Orlando Brown was appointed Assistant Commissioner 
for Virginia. 1 

When Captain Brown opened his headquarters at Richmond on 
May 31, 1865, one of his first responsibilities was to assist in the 
establishment of a system of education for a mass of Negroes 
thirsting for the formal instruction which had been denied 
them during the years of slavery. 2 "The extraordinary eagerness 
of the freedmen for the advantages of schools" 3 was reflected in 
the numerous letters to the Bureau requesting teachers, schools, 
and books. Within two weeks after the surrender of Richmond 
two teachers had gathered 1,075 pupils in the First African 

1 Oliver O. Howard, Autobiography of Oliver Otis Howard, Major General United States 
Army (2 vols., New York, 1907), II, 215; General Order 91, War Department, Adjutant 
General's Office, May 12, 1865, in Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, 
MSS., The National Archives, Washington, D. C. All manuscript sources hereinafter cited, 
unless otherwise noted, are from the Bureau records in the Archives. The abbreviation 
BRFAL will be used for all orders, circulars, and letters emanating from Virginia, and 
BRFAL, Washington, for all orders, circulars, and letters from the headquarters of the 
Bureau in Washington, or from the War Department. 

This study is primarily based on this extensive collection of Bureau records, comprising 
approximately sixty-four linear feet for Virginia alone. No exhaustive survey of contem- 
porary newspapers and similar material has been attempted. 

1 wish to express my appreciation to Dr. Henry L. Swint who made available to me much 
of his microfilm of these records, to Miss Elizabeth B. Drewry, Miss Elizabeth Bethel, and 
Miss Sara Dunlap of the War Records Division, National Archives, and to Miss Gladys Long 
of Fisk University Library, who provided assistance in locating the materials used in this 

2 Brown to Lt. Col. Fullerton, Assistant Adjutant General, June 1, 1865, BRFAL; Circular 
2, May 19, 1865, BRFAL, Washington. Captain (later Colonel and Brigadier General) 
Brown was Assistant Commissioner for Virginia from May 31, 1865, to May 21, 1866, and 
from March 21, 1867, to April 30, 1869. General Alfred H. Terry was Assistant Commissioner 
from May to August, 1866, and was followed by General John M. Schofield who served until 
March 21, 1867. 

3 Summary Report of Virginia, Brown to Howard, November 30 [sic], 1865, BRFAL. 


Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 65 

Church of that city. 4 "No children of the North look happier," 
the American Missionary Association reported, "and no books 
are dearer to a child's heart than the little green-back primer 
each one carries." Even adult Negroes flocked to the night schools 
which had been established in various cities of the state. 5 

The desire of the Negro for education was paralleled by the 
desire among many northerners to provide it for him. The 
reforming zeal of the abolitionists found a new outlet in the 
uplifting of the degraded, newly-freed slaves. The education of 
the freedmen became "the great work of the day." 6 Lyman 
Abbott, an industrious worker for Negro education, perhaps 
typified the thought of many northerners when he wrote in 
1864: "We have not only to conquer the South, — we have also 
to convert it. We have only to occupy it by bayonets and bullets, — 
but also by ideas and institutions. We have not only to destroy 
slavery, — we must also organize freedom." 7 The backward South 
of slaves, poor whites, and haughty aristocrats must be con- 
verted, and what better method could be followed than the 
spreading of "New-England ideas and New-England education." 8 
Another large group of northerners seems to have been primarily 
motivated by religious zeal, and for this group the school became 
a valuable adjunct to the mission. 9 Still others were influenced by 
humanitarian interests — a desire to improve the condition of 
the freedmen, coupled, perhaps, with a sense of moral responsi- 
bility toward the helpless Negroes whose freedom was partially 
due to their efforts. 

The most important forces in organizing northern efforts for 
Negro education and collecting the necessary funds for its sup- 
port were the northern benevolent organizations. These societies, 
many of which had been founded during the abolitionist crusade 
and during the Civil War, attempted to relieve the wants and 
protect the rights of the freedmen, and provide for their educa- 

4 American Freedman, I (May, 1866), 29. 

"American Missionary, IX (June, 1865), 124; report of Reverend H. W. Gilbert, agent of 
the American Bible Society, American Missionary, IX (May, 1865), 103; letter of Miss J. W. 
Duncan, Richmond, June 9, 1865, American Missionary, IX (August, 1865), 171. When 
corroborative evidence is sufficient, the full names of teachers and Bureau agents and the 
location of their stations will be supplied if this information is lacking in the source itself. 

6 General Samuel C. Armstrong, quoted in Francis G. Peabody, Education for Life: the 
Story of Hampton Institute (New York, 1919), 92. 

7 Lyman Abbott, "Southern Evangelization," in New Englander, XXIII (October, 1864), 

8 Ednah D. Cheney to Edward Atkinson, July 7, 1865, in Freedmen' 's Record, I (August, 
1865), 129. 

9 Report of the Freedmen' s Aid Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church (Cincinnati, 
1868), 6. 

66 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tion; and it was by co-operation with them that the Bureau 
established its schools. Prominent among these associations in 
the work of freedmen's education in Virginia were the American 
Missionary Association, the New York National Freedmen's 
Relief Association, the New England Freedmen's Aid Society, the 
Baptist Home Mission Society, the Friends Freedmen's Relief 
Association, and the American Freedmen's Union Commission. 
The American Missionary Association claimed the distinction of 
being the first organization to open a freedmen's school, having 
established one near Fortress Monroe shortly after the outbreak 
of the Civil War. Other organizations had followed the Union 
armies into Virginia, supplying teachers and providing schools. 10 
Assistant Commissioner Brown reported that during the school 
year 1864-1865 approximately 250 teachers had been employed in 
the state 11 and although this figure seems high it at least gives 
some indication of the amount of activity in Negro education. 

Until the establishment of the Bureau the benevolent organiza- 
tions had supported their own schools and there had been little 
centralized supervision of the schools and teachers. Thus, for 
the sake of efficiency and to prevent duplicated effort, it was to 
the advantage of the Bureau to co-ordinate the activities of the 
benevolent organizations and to formulate a uniform system of 
Negro education. With this object in mind, Brown, on June 20, 
1865, appointed Professor W. H. Woodbury as Superintendent of 
Schools for Freedmen. 12 Explaining that there were no Bureau 
funds with which to pay Woodbury's salary, the Assistant Com- 
missioner expressed the hope that the various benevolent societies 
of the North would see that he was properly reimbursed for his 
services. 13 Woodbury served for a short period and was then 
replaced by Chaplain Ralza Morse Manly of the 1st U. S. Colored 
Cavalry, who had been assigned to duty at Brown's headquarters 
on June 22, 1865. 14 Manly was eminently qualified for the posi- 

10 Histories of the Benevolent Organizations, Office of the Commissioner, Educational 
Division, Synopsis of School Reports, BRFAL, Washington. See also A. D. Mayo, "The 
Work of Certain Northern Churches in the Education of the Freedmen, 1861-1900," in 
Report of the Commissioner of Education for the Year 1902 (Washington, 1903), 285-314. 

For an indication of their lack of sympathy for the destitute "rebels" of the state, see 
E. C. Estes, Secretary, National Freedmen's Relief Association of New York, to Manly, 
September 20, 22, 26, 1866, BRFAL. Estes, anxious to insure that society's Richmond 
schools against loss due to fire, desired Manly to "get the Policy from a Richmond Company 
so that the loss would fall on the citizens of Virginia." 

11 Brown to Howard, June 27, 1865, BRFAL. 
^Special Order 3, June 20, 1865, BRFAL. 

13 Brown to Woodbury, June 20, 1865, BRFAL. 
"Special Order 8, June 22, 1865, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 67 

tion. In addition to his work with Negroes during the war, he 
also had served as Principal of the Troy Conference Academy of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church, at Poultney, Vermont, and of 
the New Hampshire Conference Seminary of the same church, at 
Northfield, New Hampshire. 15 "An unusually well-balanced and 
sane school official," 16 Manly displayed a better than average 
understanding of the whites of the state, and, in line with Bureau 
policy, 17 worked diligently for a system of free public schools in 
Virginia. His record as Superintendent of Education for the 
Bureau is a testimonial to the effectiveness of his leadership. 

When the Bureau was established it had been provided that 
the abandoned and confiscated lands might be set apart "for the 
use of loyal refugees and freedmen," and Bureau superintendents 
were authorized to requisition such lands as might be necessary 
for schools and quarters for teachers. 18 Under this provision 
ample lands and buildings would have been available for the sup- 
port of schools but this design was thwarted by President 
Johnson's amnesty proclamation of May 29, 1865. Under the 
terms of this proclamation thousands of Confederates were 
pardoned by taking a simple oath of allegiance to the United 
States. Once pardoned, they were entitled to the return of lands 
which they had "abandoned' ' and, as a result, the vast acreage 
over which the Bureau had expected to hold jurisdiction shrank 
rapidly to those lands owned by men not within the provisions 
of the proclamation, plus those lands which had belonged to the 
Confederate government and were considered confiscated and 
not returnable. 19 

Deprived of the revenues from these lands, the Bureau limited 
its financial support of Negro education to the rental and repair 
of school buildings 20 and the benevolent organizations undertook 
to pay the salaries of teachers. In order to improve the distribu- 
tion of effort and to avoid a conflict of interests, each organiza- 
tion was invited to undertake educational work in a specified 

15 Alumni Record of Wesleyan University, fourth edition (Middletown, Conn., 1911), class 
of 1848, as quoted in a letter from Ida M. Moody, Secretary to Bishop John Wesley Lord, 
in the possession of the author. 

16 Henry L. Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, 1862-1870 (Nashville, 1941), 131. 

17 Circular 11, July 12, 1865, BRFAL, Washington. 

18 General Order 91, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, May 12, 1865, BRFAL, 
Washington; Special Order 14, July 3, 1865, BRFAL. 

19 Circular 15, September 12, 1865, BRFAL, Washington, in House Executive Documents, 
39 Cong., 1 Sess., no. 70 (Serial 1256), 193. 

20 O. O. Howard to Lyman Abbott, August 18, 1865, in Pennsylvania Freedmen's Bulletin 
and American Freedman, I (September, 1866), 82. 

68 The North Carolina Historical Review 

district of the state and to assign its own local superintendent 
of schools. Bureau agents sought to determine the most favorable 
localities for the establishment of schools, and were ordered to 
submit reports on the possible attendance at the schools and on 
facilities available for schoolhouses and quarters for teachers. 21 
Assistant Commissioner Brown addressed the freedmen on their 
new status and responsibilities, and urged them to take advan- 
tage of the educational facilities which would be available to 
them. "You will remember," he wrote, "that in your condition 
as freedmen, education is of the highest importance." 22 

Although a few schools were in operation during the summer 
months most schools did not open until October, 1865. 23 Nearly 
one-half of the teachers and pupils in freedmen's schools in the 
state were concentrated at four leading points: Norfolk and 
vicinity, Fortress Monroe and vicinity, Petersburg, and Rich- 
mond. These areas contained approximately one-eighth of the 
Negro population in the state. Richmond, with one-twentieth of 
the Negro population, contained one-fifth of the total number of 
schools. The presence of the army in these areas, Superintendent 
Manly reported, rendered it easier to secure school rooms and 
quarters for teachers, and assured more quiet and "lawful" work. 
Many schools were convened in "basement vestries, in audience 
rooms of churches — in rough barrack buildings, or hospital 
wards, without suitable furniture and appliances, often with 
from two to six teachers and several hundred children in the 
same room." 24 Their poor material condition was somewhat 
recompensed by the glorified titles applied to the schools. Hamp- 
ton had one school named for General Benjamin F. Butler and 
another for Lincoln. One of the schools at Danville was known 
as "The Manly Division," and another at Alexandria was called 
"L'Ouverture School," apparently for the "Black Napoleon." A 
teacher at Poplar Grove even went so far as to give names to 
the various classes. The ABC class was termed the "McClellan" 
class; those who were engaged in tablet reading with words of 
two or three letters belonged to the "Sheridan" class ; beginners 

21 Manly, report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL; General Order 10, August 
18, 1865, BRFAL. 

22 To the Freedmen of Virginia, July 1, 1865, BRFAL. 

23 State Superintendent's Monthly School Reports, 1865. BRFAL. 

24 Manly, report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 69 

at primer reading composed the "Sherman" class; and "the 
best readers glory in being subject to 'Grant'." 25 

The teachers who conducted these schools were, for the most 
part, natives of the Northeast, particularly Massachusetts and 
New York. Motivated by humanitarian and religious sentiment 
and abolitionist experience, they entered their work with en- 
thusiasm and zeal, working for what would have been a "pittance 
in the North," and often adding night schools and Sunday schools 
to their regular duties. 26 Bringing with them a feeling of con- 
tempt for the whites and particularly for the "proud aristocratic 
F. F. Vs.," 27 they sought, by their actions and by their teaching, 
to impress upon the minds of the freedmen the social, political, 
and abolitionist attitudes of the victorious North. Coming into 
conflict with the mores and attitudes of the white Virginians, 
and probably flaunting their Union victory in the faces of the 
defeated Confederates, they seem to have been the most impor- 
tant cause of white opposition to Negro schools. 28 

The attitude of the whites toward the freedmen's schools in 
the school year 1865-1866 ranged from amused tolerance to 
violent hostility. The Charlottesville Chronicle, for example, 
boasted that Charlottesville well might claim to be the literary 
center of the South on the basis of the presence there of the 
University of Virginia, two female seminaries, half a dozen 
academies for boys, several other select schools, and the "whole 
colored population of all sexes and ages" which repeated "from 
morning to night a-b — ab, e-b — eb, i-b, ib ; c-a-t — cat ; d-o-g — dog ; 
c-u-p — cup ; etc." It facetiously announced a future evening edi- 
tion "in monosyllables, to increase our circulation — perhaps a 
pictorial . . . like the primers." 29 Many whites apparently doubted 

25 M. F. Armstrong and Helen W. Ludlow, Hampton and Its Students (New York, 1875), 
67; George Dixon, Danville, to Manly, May 21, 1868, BRFAL; report of Henry Fish, Alexan- 
dria, December, 1865, in National Freedman, I (December 15, 1865), 353; letter of Miss 
Carrie E. Blood, Poplar Grove, April 30, 1866, in National Freedman, II (May, 1866), 145. 

26 Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, ch. Ill, passim, Appendix III, 175-200; 
Mayo, "Churches in the Education of the Freedmen," 290; Freedmen's Record, I (May, 1865), 
70. One teacher reported that she and her associate were giving "concerts and exhibitions" 
to raise money for their school; letter of Bessie L. Canedy, Richmond, February 12, 1868, in 
Freedmen's Record, IV (March, 1868), 42-43. 

27 Letter of J. S. Banfield, Alexandria, March 31, 1865, in Freedmen's Record, I (May, 
1865), 75; letter of W. S. Coan, Richmond, May 25, 1865, in American Missionary, IX (July, 
1865), 156; S. K. Whiting, Petersburg, to Manly, December 1, 1865, BRFAL. 

28 Letter of Susan H. Clark, Slabtown (near Fortress Monroe), January, 1867, in American 
Missionary, XI (March, 1867), 64; Samuel Lloyd, Rappahannock County, to General John 
M. Schofield, July 22, 1867, BRFAL; Richmond Republican [May ?, 1865], quoted in National 
Freedman, I (June 1, 1865), 162; L. A. Birchett, Petersburg, to Manly, June 12, 1869, 
BRFAL; letter of Bessie L. Canedy, Richmond, April 3, 1868, in Freedmen's Record, IV 
(May, 1868), 79; Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, ch. IV, passim. 

29 Charlottesville Chronicle, no date given, quoted in American Missionary, IX ( November, 
1865), 242. 

70 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the efficacy of instructing the laboring population, particularly 
in regard to some of the subject matter. The Richmond Times 
of January 16, 1866, indicated this sentiment: 

White cravatted gentlemen from Andover, with a nasal twang, 
and pretty Yankee girls, with the smallest of hands and feet, have 
flocked to the South as missionary ground, and are communi- 
cating a healthy moral tone to the 'colored folks/ besides instruct- 
ing them in chemistry, botany, and natural philosophy, teaching 
them to speak French, sing Italian, and walk Spanish, so that in 
time we are bound to have intelligent, and, probably, intellectual 
labor. 30 

During the year eight schoolhouses and churches were burned 
and several teachers were assaulted or threatened. 31 Available 
evidence seems to indicate that the school and church burnings 
were primarily the result of vandalism, and General Howard 
stated that they had not involved "the better portion of the com- 
munities/' 32 The seriousness of the assaults on teachers often 
was magnified by the multiplicity of reports thereon, and some 
were the result of boyish pranks rather than adult vandalism. 33 
White opposition to freedmen's schools usually was expressed, 
not in assaults, threats, or burnings, but by obstructing the ef- 
forts of the Bureau and benevolent organizations to secure meet- 
ing places for schools and quarters and board for teachers. The 
teacher at Bermuda Hundred who secured board with a "gal- 
vanized rebel," as he called his landlady, was more fortunate 
than most, and even in such a case social pressure might force 
an eviction. 34 One teacher reported that he had been able to 
find accommodations in only two places in three counties, and 
one of those was with a Negro family. 35 Particularly galling to 
these northern teachers was the social ostracism to which they 
were subjected. Often, in their association with whites, they 

30 Richmond Times, January 16, 1866, quoted in William H. Brown, The Education and 
Economic Development of the Negro in Virginia, Publications of the University of Virginia, 
Phelps-Stokes Fellowship Papers, Number Six ([Charlottesville, 1923?]), 43; see also Manly, 
report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL; and Manly, report for the six months 
ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. 

81 Manly, report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL. 

32 Howard, Autobiography, II, 375-76; Baltimore Sun, no date given, quoted in National 
Freedman, I (May, 1866), 149. 

33 Captain A. S. Flagg, Norfolk, to Brown, May 18, 1866, BRFAL: Major James Johnson, 
Fredericksburg, to Brown, February 23, 1866, BRFAL; Major G. B. Carse, Lexington, to 
W. Stover How, February 26, and March 20, 1866, BRFAL; W. Stover How, Winchester, 
to Brown, March 23, 1866, BRFAL; C. Thurston Chase, Warrenton, to Brown, April 2, 6, 
1866, BRFAL. 

•"^Willard S. Allen to Manly, November 11, 1865, BRFAL; Jenny E. Howard and Mary M. 
Nichols, Stanardsville, to Brown, June 13, 1866, BRFAL. 

86 N. Coleman to [Manly? or Brown?], October 5, 1865, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 71 

encountered "the averted eye and silent contempt ... or that 
feminine accomplishment, peculiar to Southern gentility, of 
'gathering up their skirts,' that, in passing, their dresses shall 
escape the hated contact." 36 

Despite the scattered instances of open violence and a general 
opposition to freedmen's schools and their teachers, the school 
program thrived and expanded. Opening in October, 1865, with 
67 schools, 136 teachers, and 8,528 pupils, by March, 1866, there 
were 145 schools, 225 teachers, and 17,589 pupils. A report in 
April reveals that the American Missionary Association was 
supporting 53 teachers; the New York National Freedmen's 
Relief Association, 36 ; the New England Freedmen's Aid Society, 
20; the Baptist Home Mission Society, 24; the True Friends 
Society of Philadelphia, 49 ; and the Episcopal Missionary So- 
ciety, 5. Twenty-nine teachers and 1,057 pupils were in self- 
supporting schools. 37 

At the close of the school year General Alfred H. Terry, who 
had succeeded Brown as Assistant Commissioner, reported that 
despite a gradual enlarging of the school system there had been 
"a considerable number of earnest calls for teachers and books 
for Freedmen," which could not be met due to the "lack of means 
at the control of the benevolent associations. . . . No appreciable 
amount of sympathy or assistance from citizens is to be looked 
for," he continued. 

Many of the better class of white citizens . . . favour the education 
and elevation of the negro, while all the religious conventions 
of the state have endorsed the same idea — But the controling 
[sic'] classes have neither the disposition nor the ability to under- 
take any part of the practical work, beyond a very little in 
Sunday Schools. 38 

The lack of "disposition" to aid the education of Negroes was 
ably explained by one Bureau agent, who wrote : 

On no other subject are the white citizens so sensitive as on 
that of educating the Freedpeople, although many of the more 
sagacious are ready to advocate it when conducted with pro- 
priety or, in other words, without instilling bad manners and 

36 American Missionary, X (August, 1866), 173. 

37 State Superintendent's Monthly School Reports, 1865-1866, BRFAL; Consolidated Report 
for Schools, April, 1866, BRFAL. 

35 Terry to Howard, July 13, 1866, BRFAL. 

72 The North Carolina Historical Review 

prejudices against their former owners into the minds of the 
Blacks, or encouraging in them habits of indolence or disobedi- 
ence of lawful orders — 39 

The "inconsolable" grief of the Norfolk Virginian over the 
impending departure, in July, 1866, of the Negro "school-marms" 
who had taken "shelter, with their brood of black-birds, under 
the protecting wings of that all-gobbling, and foulest of all fowls, 
the well known buzzard yclept Freedmen's Bureau," doubtless 
became even more inconsolable with the passage by Congress of 
a bill extending the life of the Bureau for an additional two 
years. The return of the "impudent women" whose real object, 
said the Virginian, "was to disorganize and demoralize still more 
our peasantry and laboring population," was assured. 40 

During the summer months of 1866 the Bureau renewed its 
efforts to improve the educational system. An extensive question- 
naire was sent to superintendents of the various districts of the 
state requesting a report on the probable number of pupils for 
the coming year, facilities for school rooms and teachers' lodg- 
ings, extent of local aid to be expected, amount of government 
lands available for school purposes, and public sentiment toward 
the Negro schools. 41 New buildings were constructed and many 
repairs were made on old buildings to replace or improve the 
small and over-crowded school rooms of the previous year. It 
was expected that more than one-half of the schools for the com- 
ing session would occupy new or improved rooms. 42 

Superintendent Manly approached the new school year with 
confidence. The desire of freedmen for education showed no 
decline and the attitude of the whites had improved to the extent 
that they had substituted "toleration, for ill-disguised hostility." 
He had been very pleased by the frank acknowledgment of 
"prominent citizens" of the "wonderful results" that had been 
achieved. The success of the schools had been "unquestioned and 
ample," and he believed that no children were more tractable to 
discipline and few more apt to learn. Looking forward toward 
his goal of free public education for all, and to the time when the 

88 J. W. Sharp to Terry, July 21, 1866, BRFAL. 

40 Norfolk Virginian, July 2, 1866, quoted in American Missionary, X (August, 1866), 
174; General Order 61, War Department, Adjutant General's Office, August 9, 1866, BRFAL, 

41 Circular 23, July 18, 1866, BRFAL. 

42 Manly, report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL. 

43 Manly, report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL. 

4 * State Superintendent's Monthly School Reports, 1866-1867, BRFAL; Manly, report for 
the six months ending June 30, 1867, BRFAL. The average total enrollment in the school 
year 1865-1866 was 13,975, while during 1866-1867 it had declined to 13,005. 

45 J. W. Alvord, General Superintendent of Education of the Bureau, to Mrs. Dr. [?] 
Brown, March 11, 1867, BRFAL, Washington; Brown to Howard, March 25, 1867, BRFAL. 

46 Manly, report, May 22, 1867, BRFAL; Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 
1867, BRFAL. Sixty-three existed in June; Manly to Brown, June 30, 1867, BRFAL. 

47 Charles A. Raymond, Inspector of Schools, to Manly, July 20, 1866, BRFAL; Manly, 
report for the year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL; Lyman Abbott, General Secretary, 
American Freedmen's Union Commission, to Manly, August 7, 1866, BRFAL; Hannah E. 
Stevenson, New England Freedmen's Aid Society, to Manly, August 18, 1866, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 73 

benevolent organizations would withdraw their support, he be- 
lieved that no measure was of "more present importance than 
the establishment of one good training school for teachers in 
each of the larger cities. ,,43 

The schools began to reopen in September, 1866, and by 
December 192 schools were in operation, a new record. Although 
the total enrollment for the period from October, 1866, to June, 
1867, was lower than during the previous year the average daily 
attendance was higher. The schools had shown great improve- 
ment, Manly reported. Approximately 8,000 students had learned 
the alphabet and passed through the primer by June, 1867. About 
10,000 were now studying geography, arithmetic, reading, and 
writing, and some had advanced to the study of United States 
history, grammar, physiology, algebra, and Latin! 44 Although 
the Bureau now could construct as well as rent and repair school- 
houses, applications for assistance far outran the ability of the 
benevolent organizations to supply teachers. 45 Consequently 
many private schools were established in the state, particularly 
in rural districts. Manly considered these rural schools only 
better than none at all and the city schools "worse than none" 
because of the inadequate education of the teachers, most of 
whom were freedmen. 46 

The importance of establishing teacher-training institutions 
was clearly recognized by the Bureau and the benevolent organi- 
zations. 47 The hiring of Negro teachers would permit the pene- 
tration of freedmen's schools into localities where white teachers 
were unable to obtain board, provide schools under qualified 
teachers to replace the inadequate private schools, and provide 
a nucleus of teachers to instruct freedmen when the Bureau and 
the benevolent organizations withdrew from the state. Progress 
in this direction was slow but by June Manly reported that he 
was preparing to establish high schools, each with a normal de- 

74 The North Carolina Historical Review 

partment, in Richmond, Petersburg, Norfolk, Hampton, Alex- 
andria, and Danville. 48 

The attitude of whites of the state toward Negro education 
seems to have improved during the school year 1866-1867. "A 
better state of public feeling toward the schools, prevails," Manly 
reported, "and the improvement is believed to be permanent and 
reliable. This is conclusively indicated by the fact, that many 
white citizens of Virginia, both male and female, have recently 
sought positions as teachers of freedmen under the Bureau." It 
was "almost universally conceded among intelligent citizens" 
that it was necessary to educate the Negro in view of his new re- 
lation to the state. Some planters were building schoolhouses for 
them and "some ladies of refinement" were "giving them gra- 
tuitous lessons." Newspapers of the state were generally "sym- 
pathetic" toward freedmen's schools and not only treated them 
with a "fair measure of courtesy," but "sometimes offered words 
of commendation and encouragement." 49 Social ostracism of 
teachers and refusal to board them or rent school buildings still 
prevailed, but these actions seem to have reflected opposition to 
the teachers rather than opposition to Negro education per se. m 

October, 1867, ushered in one of the most significant years of 
Freedmen's Bureau activity in the field of education in Virginia. 
The number of schools, teachers, and enrolled pupils reached new 
highs of 269, 353, and 16,403, respectively, and the average 
monthly cost of freedmen's education was greatly increased. 
Benevolent organizations again bore the bulk of the expense of 
maintaining the freedmen's schools. Out of a total cost for the 
year of $132,399, charity supplied $78,766 and the Bureau 
$42,844. The freedmen contributed $10,789 and, in May, wholly 
sustained seventy-two schools. The teachers, many of whom were 
Negroes who had progressed far enough in their own education 
to enable them to teach other members of their race, were, said 
Manly, more experienced and more carefully selected. Better 

48 James M. Stradling to Manly, June 18, 1867, BRFAL; Manly to Brown, June 30, 1867, 
BRFAL; Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1867, BRFAL. 

4n Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1867, BRFAL; Report of Operations, 
April, 1867, Brown to Howard, BRFAL. 

50 Letter of Anna Gardner, Charlottesville, October 1, 1866, in Freedmen' s Record, II 
(November, 1866), 201; letter of John W. Pratt, Orange Court House, January 2, 1867, in 
Freedmen's Record, III (February, 1867), 26; letter signed P. C. [Philena Carkin?], Char- 
lottesville, February 9, 1867, in Freedmen's Record, III (March, 1867), 43; letter of G. H. 
Morse, Warrenton, January 28, 1867, in Freedmen's Record, III (March, 1867), 38; John W. 
Pratt, Orange Court House, to Manly, October 29, 1866, BRFAL; Benjamin P. Chute, 
Superintendent of Schools, 7th District, to Manly, November 14, 1866, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 75 

school buildings were available, including many new ones, al- 
though almost one-half were without desks and many, especially 
those owned by the freedmen, were cheap log structures. At- 
tendance was "more uniform and classification and grading of 
the Schools more complete." 51 

The desire of freedmen to acquire an education continued un- 
abated. The total capacity of all school buildings in April, 1868, 
was 15,060, and not only were they entirely filled but 10,000 
primers were distributed by the Bureau in those areas where 
schools were not available. Manly noted many cases of "remark- 
able sacrifice to secure the benefit of the Schools," students often 
walking long distances in all but the foulest weather to reach 
the schoolhouse. He had been greatly impressed by the examina- 
tions he had been able to hear, and believed that not less than 
50,000 freedmen had learned to read. "Christian charity and 
Government Aid," he wrote, had never been "more wisely or 
profitably expended" than in this educational work. 52 

Although 353 teachers were in the field by April, 1868, the 
demand for them far outreached the supply. Manly estimated 
that 2,000 teachers would be required to provide sufficient edu- 
cational facilities for instruction of children in rural areas, and 
three-fourths of these would have to be Negroes because of the 
difficulty of procuring board and lodgings for white teachers and 
because of limitations on the financial support from the Bureau 
and benevolent organizations. The critical need for teachers' 
training schools for Negroes was partially met during the school 
year 1867-1868 by the founding of Richmond Normal and High 
School and Hampton Institute. The former opened in October, 
1867, with two teachers and sixty-five pupils, and was described 
by Manly as 

well constructed, well provided with the best modern school 
furniture, and supplied with all necessary educational appli- 
ances — philosophical apparatus, maps, charts, globes, books of 
reference, [and] a new and well selected miscellaneous library, 
with some historical pictures and other works of art to add to the 
attractiveness of the rooms. 

51 Educational Division Synopsis of School Reports, November, 1867, to June, 1868, 
BRFAL; State Superintendent's Monthly School Reports, 1866-1868, BRFAL; Reports of 
Operations, 1866-1868, Assistant Commissioners to Howard, BRFAL; Manly, report, April 15, 
1868, BRFAL. 

52 Manly, report, April 15, 1868, BRFAL; Educational Division Synopsis, November, 1867, 
to June, 1868, BRFAL. 

76 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The methods of instruction and course of study were those "com- 
mon to the best Normal Schools.' ' Manly believed that this school 
was extremely useful not only for "instruction and discipline" of 
its pupils, but also "for its effect upon the community, in elevat- 
ing the aspirations of the colored youth of the city, and in con- 
quering some prejudices among the white citizens." 53 

The Normal and Agricultural Institute at Hampton went into 
operation on April 1, 1868, under the auspices of the American 
Missionary Association. Its purposes, as stated by its founder, 
Samuel Chapman Armstrong, a Sub-Assistant-Commissioner of 
the Bureau, were 

to train selected Negro youths who should go out and teach and 
lead their people, first by example, by getting land and homes; 
to give them not a dollar that they could earn for themselves; 
to teach respect for labor, to replace stupid drudgery with 
skilled hands, and to those ends to build up an industrial system 
for the sake not only of self-support and intelligent labor, but 
also for the sake of character. 

Under Armstrong's plan, the students studied four days per 
week, and worked two days for the school at a rate of eight cents 
per hour. The pay for their labor was credited toward their 
books, while the tuition of seventy dollars per year was borne by 
the school. By removing the pupils from "their old world of 
semi-heathenism" and making each a "responsible member of a 
well ordered Christian home," Manly felt that it would train 
them in better habits and more refined tastes, and would make 
them better citizens. 54 Rutherford B. Hayes, long active in 
southern education, felt that Armstrong, because of this school, 
stood "next to Lincoln in effective work for the negro." His work, 
said Hayes, "hits the nail on the head. It solves the whole negro 
problem." 55 

In describing the attitude of Virginia's citizens toward freed- 
men's schools in March, 1868, Manly wrote : "To the whites the 
Schools are medicine, to the blacks a cordial." 56 The improvement 

53 Educational Division Synopsis, November, 1867, to June, 1868, BRFAL; Manly, Secretary, 
Richmond Educational Association, to J. W. Alvord, General Superintendent of Schools of the 
Bureau, July 22, 1869, BRFAL. 

5i Edith Armstrong Talbot, Samuel Chapman Armstrong, A Biographical Study (New 
York, 1904), 157, 167; Educational Division Synopsis, November, 1867, to June, 1868, BRFAL. 

55 Hayes to E. E. Hale, January 5, 1892, in Rutherford Birchard Hayes, Diary and Letters 
of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, ed. by Charles R. Williams (5 vols. Ohio State Archaeological 
and Historical Society, 1926), V, 46-47. 

r, ° State Superintendent's Monthly School Report, March, 1868, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 77 

in public opinion toward Negro education during the previous 
school year had been more than counteracted by the political 
campaign of the summer and autumn months of 1867 to elect 
delegates to a constitutional convention, in compliance with the 
reconstruction acts of March 2 and 23, 1867, and the meeting of 
the convention itself from December 3, 1867, to April 17, 1868. 
This convention inserted into the proposed constitution an able 
provision for a system of free public schools ; and a vigorous but 
unsuccessful attempt was made to educate whites and Negroes 
together in the same schools. Civil equality was guaranteed to 
both races. Men who had taken oaths as congressmen, officers of 
the United States, members of any state legislature, or executive 
or judicial officers of any state and had engaged in the rebellion 
or given aid and comfort to the enemy were disfranchised, and 
all persons before entering upon office were required to take 
the "iron-clad" oath. 57 

In light of the revolutionary and discriminatory provisions 
of the proposed constitution it is not surprising that nine-tenths 
of the white population were, as Manly put it, "thoroughly or- 
ganized, politically, against Negro suffrage and political equal- 
ity," and that this same movement tended "strongly against all 
attempts to improve and elevate the freedmen." 58 Opposition to 
freedmen's schools increased noticeably, probably because of the 
activities of many teachers who, while motivated by religious and 
humanitarian enthusiasm to educate the Negro, felt that their 
instruction should teach the Negro "to recognize his friends, to 
support with his ballot the party of his friends, and to assume 
his place as the social and political equal of the Southern white 
man." 59 Since the ballot and spelling book "must go hand in 
hand," 60 retaliation was inevitable. Some whites, apparently 
realizing the political influence of freedmen's schools, undertook 
to provide education for their laborers. Others caused schools to 
be ejected from buildings in which they had been meeting. 
Retaliation of a more violent nature manifested itself in Ku 
Klux Klan activity and other outrages. While the Klan seems 

57 For a discussion of this campaign and convention see Hamilton J. Eckenrode, The 
Political History of Virginia During the Reconstruction, Johns Hopkins University Studies 
in Historical and Political Science, Series XXII, nos. 6-7-8 (Baltimore, 1904), chs. V, VI. 

58 Manly to Brown, February 20, 1868, BRFAL. 

59 Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, 82-83; see also George E. Stephens, a Union 
League canvasser, to Manly, October 24, 1867, BRFAL. 

60 Speech of J. M. McKim, Corresponding Secretary, Northwest Branch American Freed- 
men's Union Commission, in American Freedman, I (March, 1867), 181. 

78 The North Carolina Historical Review 

primarily to have been interested in coercing the Negro with 
respect to suffrage, several schoolhouses were broken into and 
several teachers were assaulted. 61 

Manly saw the solution to the problem when, in April, 1868, he 
wrote: "With both classes [aristocracy and poor whites] move- 
ments for the education of the blacks would be received with 
comparent [?] complacency if Southern white teachers, — the 
Widows, Wives and Daughters of confederate [sic] soldiers, were 
exclusively employed." Even had Manly desired exclusively to 
employ native Virginians as teachers he probably could not have 
done so. The state was unable to supply funds for teachers' 
wages and was not expected to be able to do so until at least 
1869. 62 It is improbable that the Bureau, controlled as it was by 
the Radical Congress, would have consented to such a policy, 
even if it had possessed the necessary funds, since the present 
teachers were an invaluable force for organizing the Negro 
vote in favor of the party in power. 63 Furthermore, Manly was 
largely dependent upon northern benevolent organizations for 
financial support of his school system, and it is highly improb- 
able that these organizations, many of which had been founded 
in the interests of abolition and had fought first the southern 
"slaveocracy" and then the southern "rebels," would have con- 
sented to furnishing financial support for southern teachers to 
the exclusion of the Yankee "school-marms." 

One apparent solution of the problem of antipathy toward 
freedmen's education was a state public school system for both 
whites and Negroes, such as that provided for in the proposed 
constitution. That constitution had not yet been adopted, but the 
Bureau sought, by its work in individual cities, to facilitate the 
establishment of the proposed state system. It made an unsuc- 
cessful attempt to organize a public school system in Richmond, 
and in other cities it attempted to set up such a systematic or- 

61 American Missionary, XI (November, 1867), 245; Matthew W. Jackson, Charlotte Court 
House, to [Manly?], October 26, 1867, BRFAL; James Johnson, Fredericksburg, to Terry, 
August 8, 1866, BRFAL; Sanford M. Dodge to Howard, December 10, 1867, BRFAL; Edgar 
Allan to Howard, December 10, 1867, BRFAL; S. P. Lee, Alexandria, to Brown, April 10, 1868, 
BRFAL; Charles W. McMahon, Appomattox Court House, to Captain J. F. Wilson, April 30, 
and May 4, 1868, BRFAL; Report of Operations, April, 1868, Brown to Howard, BRFAL; 
Report of Outrages, Warrenton, April, 1868, BRFAL; J. N. Murdock, Willville, to Manly, 
January 14,' 1867, BRFAL. The latter appears to be incorrectly dated, and should read 
January 14, 1868. 

62 Manly, report, April 15, 1868, BRFAL. 

63 See Richard L. Morton, The Negro in Virginia Politics, 1865-1902, Publications of the 
University of Virginia, Phelps-Stokes Fellowship Papers, Number Four (Charlottesville, 
1919), 31, for an opinion on the political character of the Bureau. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 79 

ganization of schools as could, with little change, be taken over 
by state and municipal authorities when they became sufficiently 
able to assume such responsibility. This was most satisfactorily 
accomplished in Alexandria, Norfolk, Hampton, Petersburg, 
and Richmond, each of which contained primary, intermediate, 
and high or normal schools. 64 

With a presidential election in the fall and the election on the 
proposed constitution tentatively scheduled for August, though 
subsequently postponed, the summer and autumn months of 
1868 witnessed intensive campaigning. 65 A number of Negro 
schools and teachers of freedmen felt the wrath of the aroused 
tempers of the whites. Several schools were burned and a teach- 
er at Bacon's Castle not only was beaten "unmercifully" by four 
whites but his house was burned. 66 It seems probable that this 
violence was occasioned by the political activity of teachers, 
many of whom were supported by various benevolent organiza- 
tions which expressed their approval of and desire for the 
political education of the Negro. 67 Miss Anna Gardner, in Char- 
lottesville, readily admitted the dual purpose of her teaching. 
James C. Southall, editor of the Charlottesville Chronicle, wrote 
her: "The idea prevails, that you instruct them [the students] 
in politics and sociology ; that you come among us not merely as 
an ordinary school teacher, but as a political missionary; that 
you communicate to the colored people ideas of social equality 
with the whites." Miss Gardner replied, "I teach in school and 
out, so far as my influence extends, the fundamental principles 
of 'Politics' and 'sociology' viz: — 'Whatsoever ye would that 
men should do to you, do you even so unto them.' Yours in behalf 
of truth and justice." 68 The constitution with its drastic dis- 
franchisement and "test-oath" clauses naturally was repugnant 
to most whites. It is not surprising, therefore, that efforts to 
prevent its ratification would include attempts to intimidate such 
people as Miss Gardner who were influencing the tractable 
Negroes to vote for it. 

64 Brown to Howard, June 18, 1868, BRFAL; Manly, report for the six months ending 
June 30, 1869, BRFAL; Educational Division Synopsis, November, 1867, to June, 1868, 

65 Eckenrode, Virginia During the Reconstruction, 106-109. The election on the adoption 
of the constitution was postponed until July 6, 1869; Eckenrode, Virginia During the Recon- 
struction, 125. 

66 Report of Outrages, Bacon's Castle, October, 1868, P. H. McLaughlin to Brown, BRFAL; 
William P. Austin, Wytheville, to Brown, July 22, 1868, BRFAL; Brown to P. H. McLaughlin, 
December 7, 1868. BRFAL. 

67 Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, 82-85. 

68 Swint, The Northern Teacher in the South, 82-85; see also chapter IV, passim. 

80 The North Carolina Historical Review 

During the new school year the benevolent organizations ex- 
tended their policy, begun during the previous year, of requiring 
freedmen to aid in supporting their schools. In many places they 
required the Negroes to contribute ten to fifty cents per month 
which, though not always willingly paid, tended to "eliminate 
the worthless material, to improve the average attendance and 
punctuality, to increase the interest both of pupil and parent, 
and to develop in them a legitimate feeling of self-respect, in 
place of the debasing sense of entire dependence.' ' Full charity, 
in Manly's opinion, was "a false pernicious lesson, which, must 
some day, be most painfully unlearned." 69 

Many rural schools drew all or most of their financial support 
from freedmen alone. By June, 1869, the freedmen owned 121 
schools, an increase of fifty oyer the previous year ; and they were 
contributing $19,000 toward support of the school system. The 
Peabody Fund also supplied needed assistance, furnishing $4,000 
during the school year 1868-1869. This was disbursed to seventy 
schools not otherwise adequately provided for, to supplement 
what the freedmen were doing themselves. The Bureau and 
northern benevolent organizations, of course, continued to pro- 
vide most of the support for the schools. 70 

With freedmen assuming a greater share of the expense of the 
school system, it was possible to divert some funds of benevolent 
organizations into the establishment of new schools in rural 
areas. In December, 1868, Manly reported that at the present 
rate of progress schools soon would be in operation in nearly 
every county of the state. Much of this expansion into rural dis- 
tricts was due to the diffusion of Negro teachers "fresh from 
the schools" into these areas. Though they lacked experience, this 
hindrance was more than offset by the "wonderful zeal of the 
people and the pupils." Each school gathered "the brightest 
children from a territory equal to two or three New England 
townships," many children setting out from home without break- 
fast on their long journey to school. 71 

09 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1868, BRFAL. 

70 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1868, BRFAL; Manly, report for 
the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. The Peabody Fund was established by a gift 
of $2,000,000 made by George Peabody for the "promotion and encouragement of 
intellectual, moral, or industrial education among the young of the more destitute portions 
of the South." It was distributed among these schools by giving the teacher twenty-five cents 
per month for each pupil of average attendance; Manly, report for the six months ending 
December 31, 1868, BRFAL. 

71 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1868, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 81 

The Freedmen's Bureau, with the exception of its offices for 
payment of bounties and pensions, and its educational depart- 
ment, which was to continue in operation until the state made 
"suitable provision for the education of the children of freed- 
men," was withdrawn from the state on January 1, 1869. 72 This 
action seems to have had little effect upon the educational de- 
partment except for an administrative reorganization. General 
Brown replaced Manly as Superintendent of Education but was 
mustered out on April 30, 1869, and Manly resumed his position. 
The state was divided into Educational Sub-Districts but these 
too were soon discontinued. The only permanent change of any 
consequence was that teachers, instead of sending their reports 
to local agents, now sent them direct to Manly. 73 

Despite the diminished resources of the benevolent organi- 
zations the aggregate number of schools, teachers, and pupils, 
and the average daily attendance in the school year 1868-1869 
reached new highs. The year showed an increase of sixty schools, 
forty-seven teachers, and six hundred pupils. A still more 
gratifying fact was the increase in average attendance, which 
was 80 per cent of the total enrollment, as compared to 72 per 
cent during the previous year. Manly attributed these increases 
to "a true professional zeal on the part of the teachers," a "lively 
interest" and growing "spirit of self-help among the freedmen," 
and increased financial assistance from the Bureau. During the 
year ending June 30, 1869, benevolent organizations had supplied 
approximately $60,000 as compared to $78,766 during the pre- 
vious year. The freedmen, however, had contributed $19,000, an 
increase of more than $8,000 over 1867-1868, while the Bureau 
appropriation had increased by nearly the same amount to $50,- 
000. With the addition of $4,000 from the Peabody Fund and 
$2,200 from miscellaneous sources, the total amount spent 
annually on f reedmen's education in Virginia had increased from 
$132,399 to approximately $135,200. 74 

72 Special Order 165, December 30, 1868, BRFAL; see also Circular 6, July 17, 1868, BRFAL, 
Washington; Circular 10, November 17, 1868, BRFAL, Washington; Act of July 6, 1868, in 
U. S. Statutes at Large, XV, Public Laws . . . Second Session of the Fortieth Congress, 
1867-1868, 83. 

73 War Department to Brown, April 1, 1869, BRFAL, Washington; Manly to Howard, 
May 1, 1869, BRFAL: Circular 33, December 30, 1868, BRFAL; Circular 1, January 1, 1869, 
BRFAL; Circular 2, March 9, 1869, BRFAL; Circular 3, March 19, 1868, BRFAL. The latter 
is incorrectly dated and should have read March 19, 1869. 

74 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL; Educational Division 
Synopsis, November, 1867, to June, 1868, BRFAL. 

82 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Many local school systems received special praise from Manly. 
In Richmond the schools were of "unusual excellence," the best 
teachers of former years having been retained, and the less 
successful replaced by "those of better skill or greater devotion." 
As a result, these schools secured "unqualified public approval," 
according to Manly. "The opposition which formerly existed, and 
which found expression in violence to the school houses, insults 
to the teachers, and ribald jests in the News paper press," had, 
said the Superintendent, "entirely disappeared." Because of their 
uniformly high character the schools for loyal whites conducted 
by the Soldiers Memorial Society of Boston had also done much 
to reconcile the people of Richmond to the introduction of the 
public school system. The schools at Lynchburg, Hampton, Dan- 
ville, Charlottesville, and Alexandria, each of which had normal 
schools, were also very successful, their normal schools being 
especially valuable as a source for future teachers. 75 

Although the people of Richmond gave "unqualified public ap- 
proval" to the public schools, the people of the state apparently 
were not as enthusiastic. Obstacles to the education of f reedmen 
were "undoubtedly diminishing" but Manly felt that there was 
not another southern state in which the ruling class had such a 
poor opinion, "not only of public free schools as a means of edu- 
cation, but of education itself, for the masses." To support this 
opinion he quoted a "learned Virginia Judge" as saying: "You 
Northern people have gone as mad as 'March hares' on the sub- 
ject of education. What does the laboring class want of knowl- 
edge? Give them meal and bacon to make more muscle, and, we'll 
direct the muscle." 76 Despite this attitude on the part of some 
individuals, a considerable number of native whites, "generally 
women in reduced circumstances, or broken down School Mas- 
ters," opened schools for freedmen. Most, said Manly, were 
forced to humble themselves to earn the bare necessities of life 
and though, as teachers, they were not the best, they were better 
than none. 77 

The constitution which had been drawn up by the state con- 
vention in 1868 was finally submitted to a vote on July 6, 1869, 
with a provision for a separate vote on the disfranchisement and 

75 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. 

76 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. 

77 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 83 

"test-oath" clauses. These two clauses were defeated and the 
constitution with its provision for a system of free public schools 
was adopted. 78 This was a source of great personal satisfaction 
to Manly who long had advocated free public schools and had 
sought to organize the Bureau schools in such a way that they 
easily could become part of the system. "The new Constitution," 
he wrote, 

with its public free school system which has been standing on 
the table of the sick man for fifteen months, — a nauseous but 
wholesome draught — has just been swallowed, not willingly, it 
is true, but angrily and ruefully. The patient's dislike for the 
medecine [sic'] and hate for the doctor that compounded it, may 
retard and somewhat modify the effect of the dose, but cannot 
destroy it. — Ample provision is made in that instrument for the 
gradual introduction and permanent support of a comprehensive 
system of public free schools. The wealthy and aristocratic will 
oppose and retard the movement, but it will certainly go forward 
until the free school shall be as common, as excellent, and as 
honored, as before the war, it was scarce and contemptible. 79 

Evidence was already available to indicate a future support 
of the public school system, particularly in the cities. Petersburg 
had finished its first year of trial of the system, and the city, 
in Manly's opinion, was "happy with the success of the experi- 
ment." Its teachers, most of whom were native Virginians, had 
taught an enrollment of over 2,000 children, of whom more than 
half were Negroes. Norfolk, which for some years had sustained 
public schools for white children, now made an appropriation to 
the American Missionary Association to assist in the support of 
Negro schools. Winchester had pledged itself to the support of 
"public schools for all." Richmond, in which an attempt to estab- 
lish free schools had failed during the previous year, had just 
passed an ordinance providing for such a system, appropriated 
money for its support, and selected a Board of Education whose 
members, Manly believed, would "exert themselves to make it a 
success." This board, in co-operation with the Bureau, the chari- 
table organizations, and the Peabody Fund, was expected to 
provide for 5,000 pupils during the first year, at a total expense 
to all parties of $50,000 to $60,000. "For the first time in the 
history of this city," wrote Manly, "the poor children as well as 

78 Eckenrode, Virginia During the Reconstruction, 125. 

79 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL. 

84 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the rich, regardless of past history or present condition, will 
freely enjoy the blessing of good schools." The future of educa- 
tion in Virginia, he wrote, "has never looked so hopeful for poor 

and ignorant of both races as at the present time." 80 

During the summer recess of 1869 efforts were made to adjust 

school schedules so that rural Negroes might obtain greater bene- 
fits. The spring and autumn months being the busiest for agri- 
cultural workers, and the summer and winter months being 
seasons of comparative leisure, Manly decided to continue in 
operation a large number of rural schools during the summer, 
not only to provide desired educational facilities but to lessen the 
patronage of inadequate and "harmful" private schools. As a 
result the number of teachers and pupils was twice that of any 
corresponding period, despite diminished aid from the societies 
and a blight of the crops. The main contributory causes for the 
increase, as Manly saw them, were the "widening and deepening 
interest on the part of the people to have schools" and the "rigid 
and consistent application, both to societies and local school trus- 
tees, of the [Bureau] rule not to furnish rent . . . unless an 
average daily attendance of thirty pupils was secured." The 
latter rule not only prevented waste of public funds, but increased 
daily attendance and "improved the tone of the schools." 81 

The school building program continued at a rapid rate. During 
the academic year 1869-1870 thirty-two schoolhouses were con- 
structed, at an average cost of $409, of which the Bureau fur- 
nished $182.50 and freedmen the rest. Two new buildings were 
constructed at Hampton Institute and at Richmond High and 
Normal School, the former at a cost of $40,000 and the latter at 
$18,000, part of which was paid by the Bureau and part by 
charity. Manly, who envisioned even more schools, wrote Howard 
suggesting that the Bureau, by pursuing a policy of "helping 
those who help themselves," could supply facilities for needed 
schools at a maximum cost to the government of $200 each. His 
suggestion was not acted upon, however, because of the impend- 
ing withdrawal of the Bureau from the state. 82 

80 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1869, BRFAL; see also Manly, report for 
the six months ending December 31, 1868, BRFAL. 

81 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1860, BRFAL. 

82 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1869, BRFAL; Manly, report for 
the six months ending June 30, 1870, including a summary for the five years ending June 30, 
1870, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 85 

The diminished assistance afforded the schools by charitable 
organizations during 1869-1870 threw a greater burden upon 
the people. Even in a normal year, this burden would have been 
difficult to shoulder, but the difficulty was even greater that year 
because of a drought and short crops during the previous sum- 
mer, facts which Manly felt were not properly understood by 
societies and people at a distance. There was not enough food to 
eat, and nothing to sell. Manly wrote : 

For a people thus situated to board their teachers and help build 
and repair their school houses, is to bear a vastly heavier burden 
than any community in a similar condition of poverty in any 
Northern State is required to bear. The fact that they are bear- 
ing this burden, is much to their credit and should command both 
admiration and pity. 83 

The ratification of the state constitution and the impending 
readmission of Virginia to representation in Congress seem to 
have stabilized internal conditions in the state. With education 
no longer connected with disfranchisement, and with the con- 
servatives victorious over the radicals, hostility to Negro educa- 
tion and public schools died down. Violence had almost disap- 
peared, Manly reported, and the belief of the whites that Negroes 
could not learn was entirely gone. Objection to white Virginians 
teaching in freedmen's schools was slowly going, and he noted a 
gradual diminishing of prejudice against northern teachers. On 
one point, however, the whites remained adamant. The feeling 
against mixed schools, Manly wrote, was as "solid as tl ,e primi- 
tive rocks of the Alleghanies." 84 

Virginia was readmitted to statehood on January 26, 1870, 
and on the following day General Canby "resigned the govern- 
ment of the State to the civil authorities." 85 Although the mili- 
tary withdrew from the state the educational department of the 
Bureau remained in operation until the end of the school year. 86 
Manly sought to prevent the discontinuance of freedmen's schools 
by urging the "pressing necessity" of government aid and the 
continued co-operation of the charitable organizations, until such 
time as the state was financially able to assume the burden, but 

83 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1869, BRFAL. 

84 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31, 1869, BRFAL. 

85 Eckenrode, Virginia During the Reconstruction, 127. 

86 J. M. Brown, Acting Assistant Adjutant General, to Manly, July 11, 1870, BRFAL, 
Washington, ordered the discontinuance of the Bureau on August 15, 1870. 

86 The North Carolina Historical Review 

although some aid was forthcoming it was not enough. 87 Con- 
sequently, when the Bureau withdrew many freedmen's schools 
were forced to close their doors. The Negroes vigorously objected 
to this action, charging that they were being abandoned by the 
government; that the government had emancipated them and 
given them the franchise, and was therefore obligated not to 
leave them ignorant. With the government "gone back on them" 
and the state doing nothing, they "turn away to their toil," said 
Manly, "feeling that they have not only been bereaved but 
wronged." The Superintendent sympathized with their lot, and 
protested to General Howard that "not less than ten thousand 
colored children" who had attended school during the previous 
year would have none the next; furthermore, an equal number 
who were anticipating the privilege, now were to have it denied 
them. Manly charged that the Negroes were suffering a "grievous 
wrong" for which they were not responsible. "It is evident," he 
wrote, "that there is not on earth another people who have such 
pressing need of the benefit of good schools." 88 

Looking back, at the time of the withdrawal of the Bureau 
from Virginia, Manly was justified in viewing with pride the 
accomplishments under his five years of superintendency. Be- 
tween the commencement of Bureau operations in Virginia, in 
June, 1865, and June, 1870, over two hundred schoolhouses had 
been erected and it was claimed that 50,000 young Negroes had 
been taught to read and write. The number of pupils enrolled in 
the freedmen's schools had risen from an average of about 10,- 
600 per month in 1865-1866 to an average of about 11,700 per 
month in 1869-1870 ; and an average of 10,725 students had been 
under instruction each month over the five-year period. Average 
daily attendance had increased from 7,896 in 1865-1866 to 8,909 
in 1869-1870. The number of teachers had increased from 225, 
the largest number of the first school year, to 429 in February, 
1870 ; the report of 145 schools in operation during March, 1866, 
was dwarfed by the 346 functioning in February, 1870 ; and the 
high of 17,589 students enrolled in March, 1866, was surpassed 
by the 18,138 students in February, 1870. During the five-year 

87 Manly, report for the six months ending December 31. 1869, BRFAL; J. S. Lowell, 
Secretary, Committee on Teachers, New England Branch Freedmen's Union Commission, to 
Manly, April 26, 1870, BRFAL; A. H. Jones [Pennsylvania Freedmen's Relief Association?], 
to Manly, June 20, 1870, BRFAL. 

88 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1870, BRFAL. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 87 

period a total of $725,000 had been expended for education of 
the freedmen, $375,000 of which had come from charitable or- 
ganizations, and $300,000 from the Bureau. The freedmen had 
contributed $50,000, not including the schoolhouses which they 
had constructed. 89 

Enormous strides had been made in normal school education 
during the Bureau's operations in the state. Between 1865 and 
1870 six normal schools had been established. Hampton Institute, 
with six teachers and seventy-five pupils, had acquired 122 acres 
and nine buildings, valued at $100,000. The Richmond Normal 
and High School, in operation since 1867, maintained a teaching 
staff of four and had an enrollment of one hundred pupils. The 
recognized head of the Negro school system in Richmond, it had 
become "a decided success." The Charlottesville Normal School 
had four teachers and forty pupils in the normal department. 
Other normal schools of a "less permanent character" had been 
founded in Alexandria (ninety pupils and three teachers), 
Lynchburg (thirty pupils and one teacher) , and Danville (forty 
pupils and one teacher) . 90 

During the five-year period the seed of the idea of free public 
schools for all had been nurtured by Manly and others until it 
had reached the budding stage with the new constitution. "The 
first provisions for a complete system of public education" in 
Virginia were contained in this constitution. 91 Prior to the war 
nine counties and three cities had operated, at one time or an- 
other, a system of district free schools for rich and poor alike, 
but Norfolk County was the only one which had possessed such 
a system at the outbreak of the war. 92 In light of these facts 
Manly perhaps was justified in believing that the success of the 

89 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1870, BRFAL; Manly, report for the 
year ending October 31, 1866, BRFAL. W. H. Brown in The Education and Economic 
Development of the Negro in Virginia, 45, quotes Manly as writing in 1880: "I have always 
affirmed, and still believe, that during this period of five or six years not less than 20,000 
[freedmen] learned to read. . . ." Whether Manly previously had overestimated, whether 
he had made a mistake on this report, or whether he was incorrectly quoted, is a matter of 

In computing the average daily attendance for 1865-1866 I have, because of a lack of 
statistics for the months of July, August, and September, 1865, assumed a 100 per cent 
daily attendance of the students enrolled. 

90 Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1870, BRFAL. 

91 Tipton R. Snavely, Duncan C. Hyde, and Alvin B. Biscoe, State Grants-in-Aid in 
Virginia (New York, 1933), 49. 

92 Cornelius J. Heatwole, A History of Education in Virginia (New York, 1916), 120. 
Elizabeth City, Henry, King George, Northampton, Norfolk, Princess Anne, Washington, 
Albemarle and Augusta counties, and Lynchburg, Petersburg, and Norfolk cities had 
possessed such systems. See Heatwole, A History of Education in Virginia, 210-211, 215-218, 
for a discussion of public education in Virginia and the provisions for such education in the 
constitution of 1869. 

88 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Bureau schools had been influential in the establishment of a 
state public school system. 93 Freedmen who had received the 
benefits of the free schools provided by the Bureau and benevo- 
lent organizations certainly wanted to secure their continuance. 
Many whites, having seen free schools in operation, must have 
desired these advantages for their children. 94 The Bureau seems 
to have made a significant contribution to education in Virginia 
by beginning the instruction of freedmen, using its influence to 
secure a free public school system, and laying a foundation for 
such a system. 

Had the system of education established by the Bureau been 
different the contributions might have been even greater. It 
seems probable that the exclusive employment as teachers of 
native white Virginians would have removed much of the odium 
attached to the idea of educating the Negro. Instead benevolent 
societies of abolitionist leanings sent Yankee teachers of similar 
sentiments who were motivated not only by humanitarian in- 
stincts but by a crusading zeal to establish social equality and a 
desire to organize the Negro race into a southern Republican 
party. The Norfolk Virginian stated : 

Had they confined themselves merely to teaching the objects of 
their idolatry the rudiments of our English education — to read, 
to write, and to cypher, ... we might have let their impudent 
assumptions pass with the contempt of silence ; but they failed to 
confine themselves to these harmless objects, and at once set to 
work assiduously to array the colored race against their former 
masters and present natural protectors. 95 

Violent opposition to freedmen's schools seems not to have been 
motivated by animosity toward the principle of Negro education 
as much as by opposition to the social and political activities of 
the teachers. There is a distinct correlation between the fre- 
quency of school burnings, assaults, and other violence and the 
amount of political activity in the state. From the establishment 
of the Bureau in 1865 to the summer of 1867, reports of violence 
were few and opposition to Negro education seems primarily to 
have been based upon the idea that it was useless to educate 

m Manly, report for the six months ending June 30, 1870, BRFAL. 

m For example, see Norfolk Journal, June 1, 1867, quoted in American Missionary, XI 
(July, 1867), 151-52. 
'""•Norfolk Virginian, July 2, 1866, in American Missionary, X (August, 1866), 174. 

Freedmen's Bureau and Negro Education 89 

laborers. During the political campaigns of late 1867, 1868, and 
early 1869 reports of outrages committed on teachers and schools 
showed a notable increase, and opposition to freedmen's schools 
became more pronounced. After the adoption of the state con- 
stitution violence declined and the opposition of whites toward 
Negro education seems to have become of relative insignificance. 

Social ostracism and obstruction of Bureau and benevolent 
organization efforts to establish schools again appears to be due, 
in a large extent, to the actions of the "Yankee" teachers. Handi- 
capped from the start because they, like the Union soldiers before 
them, were invaders of Virginia, they openly displayed their 
Union sentiments and their contempt for the "secesh." To name 
a school after Lincoln might be tolerated, but to name schools 
after Toussaint L'Ouverture and "Beast" Butler, of New Orleans 
fame, was hardly desirable if hostility was to be avoided. More- 
over, to teach the freedmen to sing "John Brown's soul [body?]" 
and other Union songs, to utilize Uncle Tom's Cabin as a reading 
exercise, and to inspire freedmen students in Richmond to cele- 
brate the fall of that city, could accomplish little but an aliena- 
tion of the whites and Negroes. 96 The fact that some teachers 
seemed to advocate social equality, both by their teaching and by 
their actions, 97 obviously must have been considered dangerous 
by a people who only recently had belonged to a slaveholding 
society. This is not to imply, however, that all opposition to 
freedmen's schools was caused by the actions of the teachers. 
Ante-bellum slave insurrections undoubtedly had left a tradition- 
al fear of the educated Negro. Some opposition to the freed- 
men's schools was probably due to bigotry, intolerance, and social 
pressure. Still other opposition arose from people who felt that 
laborers had no need of an education. Nevertheless, it seems 
justifiable to attribute much of the hostility to freedmen's schools, 
much of the violence and ostracism, and much of the obstruction 
of educational efforts to the northern school teachers. 

Despite such drawbacks the Freedmen's Bureau, under the 
able direction of Superintendent Manly, did accomplish its main 

96 Thomas A. Cushman, Bristol Goodson, to Manly, October 5, 1869, BRFAL; letter of Miss 
Armstrong, Norfolk, March 27, 1865, in American Missionary, IX (June, 1865), 124; letter 
of Susan H. Clark, Slabtown, January, 1867, in American Missionary, XI (March, 1867), 64; 
letter of Bessie L. Canedy, Richmond, April 3, 1868, in Freedmen's Record, IV (May, 1868), 

97 See, for example, Fanny Pegram, Charlotte Court House, to Manly [received, April 22, 
1869], BRFAL. 

90 The North Carolina Historical Review 

purpose — that of providing education for the Negroes during its 
operation in the state. Fifty thousand young freedmen supposed- 
ly had learned to read and write in its schools, though some 
of the letters of freedmen's school teachers indicate that this 
knowledge of reading and writing must have been extremely 
limited. 98 Hundreds of freedmen were reported to be in training 
for the teaching profession in the normal schools, and scores 
already had become successful teachers. Two hundred school- 
houses had been erected. Normal schools for the training of 
Negro teachers had been founded. The principle of industrial 
education had been introduced by S. C. Armstrong, a Bureau 
agent, at Hampton Institute. Not only had the attitude toward 
Negro education progressed from opposition to relative accep- 
tance, but the constitution and laws of the state now contained 
provisions for free public schools for both races. Thus, though 
the Bureau and its schools often were idealistic rather than 
practical, strongly reforming in attitude, and decidedly political 
in tenor, they made valuable contributions to Negro education 
in Virginia. 

98 James H. Branden, Petersburg, to Manly, June 18, 1869, BRFAL, requested "25 spelli 
Books and 4 Rithmeticks," stated that he had not received any "Pay for my Servises yet," 
and said he "woold bee very Glad if you woold let [me] have some money at this presant 
time as i am in Great kneed of it And thare is a Great knead of A school in this versinity. 
. . ." Another teacher, jointly engaged with a friend in instructing the freedmen, told 
Manly: "Ralph Edmunds can't write, he only teaches the scholars to spell and to read and 
keeps good order in the school." Benjamin J. Medley and Ralph Edmunds, New's Ferry, to 
Manly, January 15, 1870, BRFAL. 

Edited By Mary Callum Wiley 

The following hitherto unpublished letters, with the exception 
of the first two and the last, were written by Calvin Henderson 
Wiley 1 (or Henderson Wiley, as he was called in the family circle 
of his boyhood and youth — never Calvin Wiley) during the dark 
years of the late 1840's and the early 1850's, when financial re- 
verses were overshadowing the old homeplace in Guilford County 
and the struggling young lawyer of Oxford was seeking through 
his literary aspirations to bring security to his dearly beloved 
mother and young sisters. 

The following quaintly styled letter from his boyhood friend 
and neighbor, young Jeremy F. Gilmer, 2 throws light upon the 
eager striving of Wiley for more and more education. His 
early schooling was obtained at a subscription school locally 
called, because of the red mud with which the walls of the log 
schoolhouse were daubed, the Little Red School. In his teens he 
attended the Caldwell Institute in Greensboro and it is of this 
school that the sixteen-year-old Jeremy writes to his friend Hen- 
derson, one year his junior. 

Alamance 3 Aug. the 6th A. D. 1834 
Dear Sir 

I seat myself at my desk to write you a few lines. I received a 
letter this evening from Brother John 4 who informs me that if 
you are going to school the next session to Greensboro' you can 

1 Calvin Henderson Wiley, son of David L. and Anne Woodburn Wiley, born February 3, 
1819, in Guilford County; graduated from tbe University of North Carolina in 1840; licensed 
to practice law in 1841; author of historical romances, Alamance; or, the Great and Final 
Experiment, 1874, and Roanoke; or, Where is Utopia ? in 1849, and The North-Carolina 
Reader, 1851. Member of the Legislature in 1850 and 1852; superintendent of Common 
Schools of North Carolina from 1853 to 1865; ordained to the ministry in 1866; general 
agent of the American Bible Society of East and Middle Tennessee in 1869-1874 and of 
North and South Carolina in 1874-1887. Died in Winston, January 11, 1887. 

2 Jeremy Forbis Gilmer, born in Guilford County, February 23, 1818. Graduated from West 
Point in 1839, fourth in his class of thirty -three. As Chief of Engineers, he was engaged in 
building forts and making surveys in river and harbor improvements until the outbreak 
of the War between the States, when he resigned and as Chief Engineer on General Albert 
Sidney Johnston's staff engaged in active service. After recovery from severe wounds at the 
Battle of Shiloh he was made Chief of the Engineers Bureau, Richmond. In 1863 he was 
promoted to Major-General. "West Point Soldiers in Confederate Army," Fayetteville 
Observer, October 6, 1862; Sallie W. Stockard, The History of Guilford County, North 
Carolina, 176. 

3 The members of the ancient Presbyterian church, Alamance, six miles from Greensboro, 
always referred to their section as Alamance, not Guilford. 

* John Adams Gilmer, born on his father's farm in the Alamance Church section, 
November 4, 1805. Entered the law office of Archibald D. Murphey, Greensboro, in 1829. State 
senator from Guilford in 1846-1850; in the United States House of Representatives as 
member from the fifth North Carolina district, 1857-1861. Offered a place in Lincoln's 
cabinet but declined the post to enter the Confederate Army. Died in 1868. J. G. de Roulhac 
Hamilton, Reconstruction in North Carolina, 20; Gerald W. Johnson, "John Adams Gilmer," 
in Bettie D. Caldwell, compiler, Founders and Builders of Greensboro, 1808-1908, 98-102. 


92 The North Carolina Historical Review 

board 5 with him; and you and I can both room together in the 
same room. I would be very glad indeed to have you for a Room 
Mate. He will board you for five Dollars a month. You were speak- 
ing of studying English Grammar and Geography before you 
commenced the study of the languages but you can study the 
latter to as much advantage without studying either of these and 
when you understand the latin tongue it is quite easy to study 
the English; and I have heard some say it was the best way to 
study the latin first ; and as for Geography you can study that at 
night and recite a lesson every morning without interfering much 
with your other studies. Try and persuade your Father to send 
you this session and by a little hard study and industry you can 
join me in my class and then we will go on together and by our 
rooming together we would have all opportunities for improve- 
ment, when the one got stalded [stalled] perhaps the other could 
help him out. I wish if you could have any opportunity, you would 
let me know whether you will go of not. 6 
Nothing more but remain your affectionate 

friend till death 
Jeremy Gilmer 
Henderson Wiley 

As a preface to Calvin Henderson Wiley's letters of the 1840's, 
the following notation on the first page of one of his books, John 
C. Fremont's Report of the Exploring Expedition to the Rocky 
Mountains, Senate publication, 1845, may be inserted. 

To C. H. Wiley, Esq. 

I send you an American work in acknowledgement of 
your interesting letter of the 1st ultimo. 

Thomas H. Benton 7 
March 1848 

5 John Adams Gilmer married the daughter of the Reverend William Paisley and settled 
in a home on the corner of Mr. Paisley's lot, now the site of the West Market Street 
Methodist Church, opposite Guilford Courthouse. While he was establishing himself in law 
his young wife took boarders, Gerald W. Johnson, "John Adams Gilmer," in Founders and 
Builders of Greensboro, 99. John Adams Gilmer to Calvin H. Wiley, n. d. 

6 The author has been unable to determine the exact dates of Calvin Wiley's schooling in 
Greensboro. In an address before the literary societies of Greensboro Female College in the 
1850's (manuscript now in the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh), 
Wiley gives this glimpse of his school days at the Caldwell Institute: "Thou I profess to be 
a very young man, I can well remember the advent of the first Piano for schools in Greens- 
boro; and the sensation which it produced. A life Giraffe promenading our streets could not 
be more wondered at; and when it was safely housed in the dingy little brick building 
immediately north of us, the boys and the men peeped in at the windows, walked cautiously 
around it, [the piano] handled it, and touched the keys with awful admiration. 

"The Presbyterians built that admirable school, the Caldwell Institute; the Methodist, 
with generous rivalry of the right kind determined to erect a Female College. And sure 
enough, in a very short time, that old field where we boys used to hunt, then a far-off 
wilderness of sedge and pines, is suddenly blossoming with rosy cheeks and sparkling eyes; 
a beautiful structure crowns the crest of the barren hill, and a Town springs up as if by 

In an undated note to Wiley, Lyndon Swain, editor of the Greensborough Patriot, writes: 
"I think I could make a tolerably good drawing of the old Building [Caldwell Institute] 
from recollection. It looked something like a big old kettle turned bottom upward; its 
chimney flues standing for the eyes." Lyndon Swain to Calvin H. Wiley, n. d. 

7 Thomas Hart Benton, born in 1782 on his father's plantation near Hillsboro. Removed 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 9 


Above this note in another hand, perhaps that of Senator Ben- 
ton's secretary, appear the words: "The following is the auto- 
graph of the Hon. T. H. Benton U. S. Senator from Mo." 

Letters to His Mother 

The same tender devotion which in later years Calvin Hender- 
son Wiley lavished upon his wife 8 and children breathes through 
these letters to his mother, who for years was practically an 
invalid, frequently suffering attacks of severe illness. 

New-York, July 17th 1848 
My Dear Mother : 

I have not for a long time written to you because I have been 
pushing for six months to become independent. I made up my 
mind at the beginning of this year to make a certain sum of 
money, get rid of all my debts & business & live with you. I made 
up my mind also to change my course of life, to become in heart 
religious. 9 I pray twice a day & never forget you & father & 
sisters in my prayers. Such has been my course of life for months 
& I trust that God at least will bless me. 

I have been in debt & hardly able to live & have been trying to 
make something by my pen 10 as well as by my profession. My 
health failed me in the spring & has been delicate for some time. 
Still I have been working & praying, doing my best & looking to 
Heaven for its aid. 

I am now here on business connected with my books, etc. & 
it is my confident expectation to be able in one month to leave 
off my business in Granville. I hope to get money enough now to 
pay all my debts, to pay yours & to enable us all to move to a 
more healthy & better country. I want to be able to live with you 
& cheer & comfort you. 

to Tennessee in 1800; admitted to the bar in 1811; removed to St. Louis, 1815; elected United 
States senator from Missouri, 1820, and held that office for thirty years. Died in 1858. He 
was a great champion of Jaxksonian democracy. Archibald Henderson, North Carolina: The 
Old North State and the New, XI, 40-42. 

8 Mittie Towles of Raleigh, daughter of James Moore and Mary Ann Callum Towles. 

9 Though deeply religious, Wiley was not at this time active in that profession. It was the 
desire of his mother's heart that he devote his life to the ministry of the gospel. 

10 While in Philadelphia in 1847 Wiley met the patron of young writers, George R. 
Graham, who encouraged him in his literary efforts by accepting articles for publication in 
Graham's Magazine. 

In anticipation of the publication of Alamance, William G. Noble, formerly of Franklin 
County, but in 1847 a resident of New York City, sent Wiley, under the date, "New York, 
August 4, 1847," a list of "warm and devoted friends," all of whom intended to patronize 
his forthcoming book and recommend it to their friends. On this interesting paper containing 
the autographed list of names, Mr. Noble writes: "Mr. Wiley is well known in North 
Carolina as a writer. A series of political essays written by him just after quitting college 
were generally attributed to the Pen of Sen 1 George E. Badger, the most gifted man in the 
State and as such were answered by the then Treasurer of the State, who addressed his 
answers to Mr. B. and alledging [sic] that every body knew that he, and he only, could be 
the author." 

George Edmund Badger (1795-1866) was a lawyer, orator, and scholar. A member of the 
North Carolina House of Representatives from New Bern in 1816, he was elected judge of 
the Superior Courts in 1820 and served five years, was United States senator, 1846-1855, 
and was Secretary of the Navy under Harrison. He distinguished himself in courts of 
appeal by his powerful exposition of the law. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, "Badger, George 
Edmund," in Dictionary of American Biography, I, 485-486. 

94 The North Carolina Historical Review 

My dear Mother, you must not think that I have forgotten you 
for one moment or your early instructions. To your early in- 
structions & care I owe all I am ; they have followed me through 
all my trials & been with me sustaining me & guiding me. 

Oh, how I wish that you had been able to raise & educate my 
sisters as I was reared & educated! You are the best teacher in 
the world & if God will only spare my life & give me health, I will 
show you that I am the most affectionate son. I know you have 
thought hard of me but I have been from day to day & from 
month to month struggling & hoping to bring you cheering news. 
I did not wish to see you until I was able to do something for you 
& every week I expected to be able to see you & live with you. 

Disappointment after disappointment has followed me until 
now— I see light now & soon I hope to bring you good news. If 
my plans do not fail, I will receive this summer a considerable 
sum of money. ... I will take you to a better country [at this 
time there seems to have been a great deal of malaria in Guil- 
ford]. In that new country I will still have to practise law but 
we will all live together. Then & not till then will I get married 

Be sure to keep Asenath & Emily 11 always reading. Do not let 
poverty cause them to forget a proper pride & self-respect. Re- 
member that poor people can be accomplished & well read as well 
as rich ones; that education is in fact more important to them 
than to the rich. Never let them forget that money does not make 
respectability, but virtue, learning, piety & a dignified self- 
respect. Make my sisters, as you made me, put their minds & 
hearts on some high position; they can learn at home; you can 
teach them much. Keep them reading, reading & writing. It is 
my intention to get some pious, plain & educated woman to live 
with you & teach [my] sisters. 12 

Give my hearty love to Kate 13 & her children, to Em & Senath, 
to father & Mr. Rankin. 14 Tell father the heart of his son yearns 
for him & hopes that the remainder of his days will be happy & 
peaceful. Let us all with an enlightened hope, with pious hearts 
& just actions, look for a blessed Union in Heaven. You'll hear 
from me soon. 

Your most affectionate son, 
C. H. Wiley 

Mrs. Anne Wiley 

P. S. I hope to get home in a month. I will try to send you some 
money before I see you. Remember me to all the good old Ala- 
mancers [members of Alamance Presbyterian congregation, Guil- 
ford County] . 

11 Wiley's sisters. 

12 In 1856 Wiley employed a cultivated lady from Brooklyn, New York, Miss Isabella 
Oakley, as governess for his sisters, Asenath and Emily, and the children of his sister 
Catherine (Mrs. Sam Rankin). For three years Miss Oakley was a member of the household 
at Woodbourne (the old Guilford homestead which Calvin Wiley, upon becoming head of the 
household at the death of his father in 1860, so named in honor of his mother, Anne 
Woodburn). Some years after this, upon the death of Mrs. Rankin, he took into his home 
the two youngest Rankin children, Cyrus and Alice, and employed for them another 
governess, an English-born woman, Miss Matilda Middleton of Kentucky. 

13 His sister Catherine (Mrs. Sam Rankin). 

14 Sam Rankin of Guilford County, husband of Catherine. 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 95 

The next letter, from which excerpts are taken, bears the date 
August 14, 1849, and is written from Wythe County, Virginia, 
where Wiley in the interest of his health had gone that, 
according to the custom of the day, he might drink the medicinal 
waters of some country spring. This was not the first visit he had 
made to Wythe County seeking restoration of health, for a no- 
tation on a printed funeral notice of Isaac Painter, Tazewell Court 
House, Virginia, June 1, 1885, bears these words: "When a boy, 
on my first trip from home, gone for health, boarded with Mr. 
P. on Cripple Creek, Wythe Co, Va. A good man and great & life 
long friend of mine gone. C. H. W." 

My Dear Mother: 

Since I wrote you my health has been improving. ... I want to 
see you very much. . . . 

Keep a stout heart. I hope yet to enable you to see much of the 
world. I may get an office 15 in this country ; & if I do, I will carry 
you with me. If I go abroad, I will give you & my sisters one half 
of all I make. ... If I were to get the office I want, I could make 
you comfortable for life ; lay up about twenty five hundred dollars 
a piece for [my] sisters & make myself independent. 

Let us keep hoping & keep working; life was given to us to 
work & to hope. ... As my health returns, I feel strong hopes of 
being able to do a great deal yet. I shall not, for the present, make 
any effort in Washington ; when I do [go] on, I will go determined 
to act like a man & a philosopher & push hard. . . . 

[After sending his love to each member of the family by name, 
including Heatty, the old black cook, a slave, he says he will try 
to catch a ground squirrel for Joe, his oldest nephew, and bring 
something for little Willie and Cyrus.] 

Let us all believe that God is good & trust in His justice & be 
happy in the reflection that He will do what is right. 

I remain my dearest Mother, 

Your affectionate son, 

C. H. Wiley 
Mrs. Anne Wiley. 

Having recovered his health, Wiley in the late fall of 
1849 made the trip to Washington, pushing hard, as he said in his 
last letter, as a man and a philosopher in the interest of the gov- 
ernment appointment he sought. 

In the following, as in all his letters, he shows deep concern 
for his mother, writing : "My health is still good but night before 
last I dreamed that you were suddenly taken sick with a cramp in 

15 There is no record to show what this "office" was. 

96 The North Carolina Historical Review 

your side. I have been very melancholy since & would like to 
know exceedingly if you are well." 

No matter how engrossed he was in personal affairs, he never 
forgot in writing to his mother to send some message to the chil- 
dren of his sister Catherine. "Tell Kathy," he writes in this let- 
ter, "that I'll bring the boys a present." 

Washington City 
Nov. 9, 1849 
My Dear Mother : 

I have to write again before I know my fate. Things here work 
very slowly ; in fact office-hunting is a very poor business. I have 
seen Mr. Clayton 16 several times; but he seems to think nothing 
can be done till Congress meets. A good many North-Carolinians 
are pushing for office & they keep putting us off, telling us that 
[they] do not like to decide between us, & that they want to wait 
till they see our members of Congress. This is precisely the state 
of the case; & as there is not much to be seen here & nothing 
to do you may be sure my time hangs heavy on my hands. I do 
[go] every day to see some of the Government ; & I intend to keep 
pushing as long as there is a chance. I have no doubt we will all 
have to wait till the meeting of Congress & that is three weeks 
from next Monday. 

I keep in good spirits ; I know Providence will bring all things 
right. If I have to leave you, I will have an office & send you 
money; if I can't get any office, I can stay with you all though 
poor. So that things are not so bad ; & we have the consolation of 
knowing all is for the best. . . . 

God bless you all ! 

I remain Your affectionate son, 

C. H. Wiley 
Mrs. Anne Wiley 

In the 1840's thousands of North Carolinians were emigrating 
with their families to sections to the southwest and west which 
seemingly offered better opportunities for material advancement. 
Carefully studying the causes which were thus bringing ruin upon 
his beloved state, the young author and lawyer came to the con- 
viction that the one thing that would remedy this deplorable 
condition and lead to the development of the untold resources of 
the state was universal education — education not only of the 
youth of the state but also of the adult citizenry. With youthful 
zeal he took upon himself the patriotic task of bringing about the 
reforms necessary for this universal education. 

16 The author has not been able to identify Mr. Clayton. 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 97 

Realizing that only as a member of the state legislature could 
he bring about educational reform and that in his native county 
he would have the best chance of election to this body, he re- 
turned to Guilford County, arriving on the very day prescribed by 
law for him to be there in order to become a candidate. 17 

As a Whig he was elected as a representative of Guilford to 
the legislature of 1850-1851. The following letters tell of the bill 
he introduced at this session of the legislature. They show also 
the burden he had taken upon himself in the management of the 
old home in Guilford, the ever present anxiety concerning the 
health of his beloved mother, his love for children, and his per- 
sonal interest in the "little darkies" and the others at Wood- 

Raleigh Nov. 22, 1850 
Dear Mother: 

This Thursday is the fourth day of the session & we are getting 
on very smoothly. The democrats elected their speakers in both 
houses ; James C. Dobbin is speaker of the House of Commons & 
Weldon Edwards of the Senate. Dobbin is from Fayetteville & 
Edwards from Warren. 

The Legislature is organized but we have not yet got to doing 
very important business. The probability is that by the middle 
of next week we will be fully under way. There are not many 
visitors here at this time. I suppose they are waiting till we get 
the steam up. 

I am well, but I am not pleased with my room. I think it proba- 
ble that I will leave my boarding house to go to another. We are 
entirely too much crowded, having at least 75 boarders. 

To-morrow I expect to introduce a bill for the appointment of 
a superintendent of the Common Schools. The governor in his 
message 18 strongly recommends it. The probability is that one 
will be appointed. I do hope I'll be the man. Of course you must 
not talk of this ; say nothing until you see what happens. 

Sam in his letter says that Cyrus had been very sick with an- 
other chill. I looked for this. I tell you that child must be looked 
to. When I was with him, I made him wear his hat, shoes & stock- 

17 R. D. W. Connor, in The News and Observer (Raleigh), February 2, 1902. 

18 The Fayetteville Observer on November 26, 1850, published the speech of Governor 
Charles Manly, in which the governor says: "The want of information [concerning common 
schools] suggests the necessity of creating a new officer in the government to take the 
general charge of the whole business ... to be designated the Minister of Public Instruction 
or the General Superintendent of Common Schools." The editor of the Observer in the same 
issue in speaking editorially of the governor's message says: "As for the operation of the 
System [of common schools] itself, it appears that reform is indispensably necessary. This 
is ab[o]undingly evident to prevent the System from degenerating into a nuisance, and from 
losing its hold upon the public regard, to which, if properly administered, it is pre-eminently 
entitled." In the proceedings of the House, printed also in this issue of the Fayetteville 
Observer, the following item appears: Nov. 25, 1850. Mr. Wiley, a bill to provide for 
appointing a Superintendent of Common Schools and for other purposes. Ordered to be 

98 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ings & would not let him run out in the rain and eat trash. I also 
gave him two rhubarb pills ; they are the best things for him. He 
took it very much to heart when we all seemed to take no notice 
of him. I think that this had some effect in bringing back his 

I am very glad to hear that Willie is still getting better. I have 
no doubt but that he will get well if they will be careful with him. 
I hope they will be especially particular in regard to his diet & 
going out in the rain. 19 Tell him & Cyrus & Joe that I will bring 
them all presents. Give Cyrus the envelope that comes round this 
letter & tell him I sent it to him. 

Did Wilson Kirkman 20 cut that wood? When will he want his 
pay ? I do hope you are still improving ; remember your health is 
more important than that of any of us. Please try to keep your 
spirits up ; keep your feet dry & warm & do not undertake to lift 
too much. Keep your bowels regular with the rhubarb & the pills 
I sent to you ; & be especially particular in your diet. 

I have been treated with kind consideration by the members; 
& already I am acquainted with nearly all. Of course nobody ever 
said a word about my right to my seat; 21 on the contrary every 
one congratulated me on my success. 

The Governor's message was sent in & read on Tuesday ; it will 
be printed & I will send papa a copy for him & Sam ; please tell 
him so. 

Give my duty to him & Ningy, 22 my love to Senath, Em, 
Catherine & her little ones & my regards to Sam. Tell all the 
little "darkies" that I will bring them presents. . . . 

I'll keep you informed of how I get on. I hope you'll all keep 
well, black and white. Tell Heatty 23 to keep up a brave heart. Do 
the best, all of you, & trust in God for the rest. 
I remain your affectionate son, 
C. H. Wiley 
Mrs. Anne Wiley 

Raleigh Dec. 6th 1850 
My Dear Mother : 

I do not know when I was so glad as when I received & read 
your last letter. You have been saying that your mind is failing ; 
I have lately had evidence of exactly the contrary. It is said that 
people are in their prime, as far as the mind is concerned, at fifty ; 
& your letters seem to be written in a better hand & more full & 
particular than they used to be. And that mistake in my cer- 
tificate, 24 who would have noticed it but you ? 

I am sorry to hear how low Ningy is ; please remember me to 
her. Tell her I hope we will meet again in this world; & if not, 

19 The author has heard her mother, Mittie Towles Wiley, say that Wiley was so 
well versed in medicine that the family doctors had great respect for his views concerning 
common ailments and their treatment. 

20 A Guilford County neighbor. 

21 This refers perhaps to his return to Guilford County just in time to run for a seat in 
the legislature as a member from that county. 

22 Mrs. Peggy Porter Wiley, his Irish stepgrandmother to whom he was tenderly attached. 
w A slave, long the cook at Woodbourne. 

24 See note 21. 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 99 

that we will have a joyful meeting in Heaven. Endeavor to en- 
courage her with hope & all of you try to smooth the evening of 
her life. God will remember all these things & will certainly in 
this world or the next pay you a thousand fold for your kindness 
to our desolate old relation. Tell her that I think of her & pray 
for her ; & that I want her blessing & remembrance in her pray- 
ers. The blessings of the old & desolate will do us good. . . . 

I am well but I am intolerably tired of Raleigh. I can not get 
milk ; the butter is old & rancid & the water very bad. I do hope 
that we will get through soon, but I see no porspect Isic"] of it. 

My bill about Common Schools was referred to the Committee 
on education; & they have agreed to recommend its passage. I 
think it will pass the House, but then it has to go through the 
Senate. I am told by both parties that if the bill passes, I will 
be elected Superintendent, but this will be several weeks off & 
no one knows what will happen in that time. I have been treated 
with great kindness by both parties & when I rise, the bubbub 
cease and there is a breathless stillness. They all want me to 
speak, 25 but I have had no occasion yet to make a set speech. 

A great many of my old Granville friends are here & they treat 
me with great kindness. 

There has been a Masonic Convention here to settle the loca- 
tion of that College 26 they are to build, about two hundred Masons 
are in attendance. The Greensboro' & Oxford people determined 
that it should go to the one or the other of these places, & last 
night the vote was taken & Oxford got it. Greensboro' was next 
highest. Jacob Hiatt, Cyrus Mendenhall, Col. Millis & a Mr. Reece, 
a great friend of mine from Jamestown, are here attending the 
Masonic Lodge. 27 The Greensboro* wags played a rather mean 
joke on Hiatt; they had his arrival announced in the papers, 
making him very ridiculous. He was furious, but could not find 
out the author of it. I suspect Gilmer 28 or Hill 29 of Rockingham. 

Gilmer is very kind to me ; he does me the honor to consult me 
in every movement he makes. He has made the old politicians be- 
lieve that I am very sharp & these old fellows often consult me. 
Yesterday a man in a speech alluded to me, saying he had got a 
good deal of his matter from "his learned friend from Guilford, 

25 One must bear in mind that a young son is here writing in intimate detail to his 
mother. However, from what the author has heard her mother say and others write, Wiley 
must have been a forceful speaker and preacher. In 1902 Dr. R. D. W. Connor sent Mrs. 
Wiley a letter he had recently received from D. S. Richardson of California, a 
distinguished educator of Wilson, N. C, during the time Wiley was Superintendent of 
Common Schools. Speaking of Wiley, Richardson writes: "My memory of him is vivid. . . . 
More than any man I was acquainted with he had the genius of awakening the people in 
his cause. . . . Not that he was an orator, so called, or skilled in sensational devices, to 
which he never resorted, lay the secret of his power, It was the simple, unpretentious, but 
magnetic reflection of his 'interior God,' of universal brotherhood. His eye, face & gentle 
words sparkled with it. Nothing dict[at]orial, all suggestive, but leading." 

26 As a young Mason, Wiley was the authorized agent to collect funds for the establishment 
of St. John's College. Instead of a college, however, the North Carolina Masons established 
the Oxford Orphanage. 

27 Guilford County Masons. 

28 John Adams Gilmer, senator from Guilford County. 

29 Probably William Hill, North Carolina's secretary of state from 1811 to 1859, who was 
from Rockingham County. 

100 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Give my love to all my sisters — tell Senath I am glad she has 
got her certificate. 30 Be sure to tell Sam's boys about me & kiss 
the baby for me. Tell Catherine to be careful of herself & [her] 
children; & do you be so of yourself & of Senath & Emily. Give 
my respects to father & my love & dutiful regards to Ningy. Tell 
her I wish her last moments to be happy & peaceful. Remember 
me to Heatty & children, especially Newt. 31 

I send you five dollars. I could have sent more but I have been 
buying some clothes. I have got me two flannel shirts. 

Be careful of yourself ; you are the main stay of us all. 
I remain your affectionate son, 
C. H. Wiley 
Mrs. Anne Wiley 

Raleigh Dec. 13th 1850 
My Dear Mother: 

My bill to appoint a Superintendent of Common Schools comes 
on to-day; & as the papers say, I made a great speech. When I 
got through Gen. Saunders, 32 the leading member of the demo- 
cratic party & the most distinguished man here, rose & said that 
he had been astonished, instructed & delighted at the able speech 
of his young friend from Guilford & & ; & my bill came near get- 
ting through. 

On Monday it will perhaps pass the House; & then it has to 
take its chances in the Senate. If it passes, there is no earthly 
doubt but I will be elected Superintendent ; that matter is already 

The Guilford delegation 33 get along very well with each other; 
we are all on excellent terms. Gilmer 34 has treated me like a 
father here ; & I have been of no little advantage to him. . . . 

How are you all coming on ? How is Ningy ? I would be glad 
to hear from her. I have been listening to hear of Heatty's having 
an heir. Why is she so slow about it ?. . . 

Tell Joe & Willie & Cyrus I wrote about them ; & as to the fat 
baby, you can kiss it for me. I'd like to see all the little ones & 
have a frolic with them, Jane & Newt & Shiel included. Tell Newt 
I'll bring him a dog. . . . 

Take care of yourself & may God bless and take care of you all. 
I remain your affectionate son, 

C. H. Wiley 
Mrs. Anne Wiley 

Raleigh, Dec. 19th, 1850 
My Dear Mother : 

You[r] letter of the 10th reached me yesterday. Poor old 
Ningy ! May her soul rest in everlasting peace ! She has long been 

30 To teach. 

31 The son of Heatty (a slave), and the childhood companion and playmate of Wiley. 
He was his special servant during the 1850's. 

32 General R. M. Saunders of Raleigh, representative of Wake County. 

38 Senate: John Adams Gilmer, Whig; House of Representatives: D. F. Caldwell, C. H. 
Wiley, and P. Adams, Whigs. 
31 John Adams Gilmer. 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 101 

desolate ; I do hope she has gone to a home where she will not be 
so lonely. Although she was too old to be company to us & a 
charge, yet I feel really sorry that she has gone. 

I am glad the rest of you are all well ; poor little Willie has got 
out again I see. Let his case be a warning to us all not to despair. 
I still believed that he would recover; we should never predict 
death or failure, but do the best we can & hope in God. 

My school bill did not pass. The school fund is not distributed 
fairly between the east & west & there is a bitter feeling between 
these sections. While my bill was under consideration, some one 
moved an amendment to distribute the fund more equally; this 
roused up the old feeling & my bill was killed. Some members 
swear that they will never vote to improve the school laws till the 
mode of distributing the money is altered. If the bill had passed, 
I would have been unanimously elected. 

It is admitted on all hands that I am the most popular man 
here; 35 but still I am tired of the business. Our expenses are 
enormous & the fare wretched. We will get through in about a 
month. I will hardly get off at Christmas, but I send a Christmas 
greeting to you all. Greet father, Catherine, Senath, Emily, Joe, 
Willie, Cyrus, little Katy, 36 Sam, Heatty, Jane, Newt & Shiel 37 
for me. Give my love to all & tell them I wish them a merry 
Christmas & a happy year. If I [can not make] a flying trip 
[home] at Christmas, I will get a Christmas gift for Senath, 
Emily, & the little ones. 

A great many tell me they want my book 38 when it is printed. 
Take care of yourself, my dear Mother, for I want you to live to 
see prosperity of your children & be happy with them. 
I remain your affectionate son, 
C. H. Wiley 
P. S. I have written a notice of Ningy's death & sent it to the 

The last of Calvin Henderson Wiley's unpublished papers here 
given is of unusual interest in that it comes from the American 
legation at Madrid and is written in the flowing hand of the 
United States Minister to Spain, D. M. Barringer. 39 

35 We must bear in mind that he is writing for his mother's eye alone. 

36 Catherine Rankin's baby daughter, baptized Alice, not Catherine. 

37 Slaves. 

38 The North-Carolina Reader, published December, 1851, by Lippincott, Grambo & Co., 
Philadelphia, at Wiley's own expense. Until the 1870's this book, passing through a number 
of editions, was used in the public schools of North Carolina, "creating and fostering a new 
spirit among the masses of the people" according to Stephen B. Weeks in "The Beginnings 
of the Common School System in the South; or Calvin Henderson Wiley and the Organiza- 
tion of the Common Schools in North Carolina" — The Report of the Commissioner of Educa- 
tion for the Year 1806-97, II, 1466. Upon assuming the superintendency of the schools, Wiley 
disposed of his copyright for the book and thus voluntarily gave up all profits from the sales. 

The author has heard her mother say that Calvin Wiley wrote a large part of The North- 
Carolina Reader after the day's outside duties were done, in the living room of the old home 
at Woodbourne, the family circle gathered with him around the open wood fire, chatting or 
reading while he wrote. 

39 Daniel M. Barringer of Cabarrus County (1806-1876). Lawyer, congressman, diplomat. 
Served in the House of Commons, 1829-1835 and two more terms of two years each later on. 
Member of the United States House of Representatives, 1843. Appointed minister to Spain 
in 1849 by President Taylor. Member of the North Carolina House of Commons in 1854. 
As a close, though unofficial, adviser of Governor John W. Ellis and Governor Henry T. 


The North Carolina Historical Review 

Legation of U. S. 
Madrid, Feby 20, 1853. 
My dear Sir: 

Absence has never for a moment diminished the deep interest 
I always take in the affairs of our Common and highly favoured 
Country — and especially in whatever concerns the welfare of our 
beloved North Carolina. I have endeavored to keep myself con- 
stantly informed of whatever transpires within her borders, and 
to form my opinions and to cherish my hopes for her bright 
future, as if I were actually in your midst, instead of being in a 
foreign land. 

Among the events which have recently given me the most lively 
satisfaction is the law creating a General Superintendent of Com- 
mon Schools in the State, and your own appointment to that 
responsible post. 

Having been among the earliest of the friends and advocates 
of a well regulated system of Popular Education in our State, at 
a time too when we had real difficulties to encounter, I always 
entertained the opinion that such an officer was indispensable to 
its complete success. And I am truly gratified that the appoint- 
ment has been alloted to one every way worthy of its honor, 
sensible of its duties and responsibilities — so well qualified by 
personal knowledge and local information and so ardently devoted 
to a cause, which, I am fully persuaded, lies at the foundation and 
is the only sure guaranty of our popular institutions. 

These glorious institutions, allow me to say, foreign residence 
& a nearer knowledge of European government and courts have 
only caused me to admire and love more & more every day of my 
life. We are all accustomed not only in schools and colleges but 
before the assembled "Sovereigns" themselves to descant upon 
the "virtues and intelligence of the people" as absolutely neces- 
sary to a proper appreciation of the blessings of liberty and the 
only means of their preservation. 

But I have never so fully realized the force of this just senti- 
ment, regarded almost as an axiom with us, till I lived abroad and 
have seen how feeble and futile and almost worthless are the at- 
tempts at self-government and true liberty without a previous 
education and knowledge among the great mass of the people. 
Without such preparation there will be little private and less pub- 
lic virtue — and corruption public and private will be the order of 
the day. But excuse, I pray you, this digression. My chief object 
in this note was to offer you my warm congratulations on the ap- 
pointment which you have recently received from the Legislature 
and to express my hopes and convictions your efforts will result 
in much good to the great cause we all have so much at heart. 

I hope to be able, if I should have the pleasure to meet you in 
our part of the State, to express in person my best wishes for 
your success sometime during the present year when it has long 

Clark, he played considerable part in public affairs with devotion to the Confederate cause. 
In 1872 as delegate to the National Democratic convention he advocated the nomination of 
Horace Greeley. J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, "Barringer, Daniel Moreau," Dictionary of 
American Biography, I, 648. 

Letters of Calvin Henderson Wiley 103 

been my desire and intention to return to the U. S. and to which 
I have already made known my purpose at Washington. 

I have the satisfaction to know that my mission here, during a 
most critical period in our affairs with Spain, has received the 
entire approbation of our government & I believe, so far as they 
yet have been enable to judge of its results, that of the American 

I am, my dear Sir, very truly & faithfully your 

friend and obt. Sert. 

D. M. Barringer. 


Edited By Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


From Edward W. Hinks 90 

Head Quarters Second Military District, 
Provost Marshal Generals Office, 
Citadel, Charleston S. C. August 10, 1867 
Capt. J. C. Clous 
A. A. A. G 
2nd Mil Dist. 
Captain : 

I have the honor to submit the following report in the case of 
Mr. Wm. M. Johnson of Rockingham County, N. C. who deserted 
from the rebel army in 1863, and, being closely pressed by the 
Conscript Officers in North Carolina, while making his way to 
the Federal lines, entered the house of John W. Moore of Rock- 
ingham County, North Carolina, during the night of the 24th 
Jany, 1863, and without injuring, or offering violence to any per- 
son present, took therefrom three pieces of bacon, of the value of 
$5.00 (five dollars), and some other small articles of food, and 
continued his flight to the Federal lines, which he succeeded in 
reaching; and subsequently joined the 10 th Tenn Vols, of which 
he was appointed 1 st Lieut, remaining in the service of the U. S. 
until the close of the war. 

Johnson returned to his home at the conclusion of the war, and 
a capias for his arrest was issued by Judge R. B. Gilliam, 91 in 
March 1866 upon which he was arrested, on the 29 th April, and 
brought before the Court to answer to an indictment for burglary 
which had been found against him by the Grand Jury, in August 
1863, for entering the house of Moore and taking food therefrom 
while on his way to the Federal lines, as herein before stated. 

On the application of Johnson, the case was removed to the 
County of Caswell, North Carolina for trial, he being in the mean- 
time refused bail. 

At the fall term of the Court in Caswell County, in 1866, John- 
son was tried on the indictment before Judge Daniel J. Fowle, and 
was found guilty of burglary, as charged in the bill of indictment, 
and was sentenced to be hung on the third Friday in December. 

90 Edward W. Hincks of Massachusetts was commissioned a second lieutenant on April 26, 
1861. Four days later he became lieutenant colonel of the Eighth Massachusetts Infantry 
and on May 16 he was made a colonel. On November 29, 1862, he was promoted to brigadier 
general and he was retired on December 15, 1870. He died on February 4, 1894. Heitman, 
Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, I, 532. 

91 Robert B. Gilliam was a member of the North Carolina constitutional convention of 
1835 from Granville County and served several times as a member of the state legislature, 
becoming speaker of the House in 18G5. In 1865 Governor Holden appointed him as one of 
the provisional judges of the Superior Court to which post he was elected in the fall of 1865. 
Tn 1870 he was elected as the successor to John T. Deweese from the fourth North Carolina 
Congressional district, but he died in October and never took his seat as a member of 
Congress, Hamilton, Reconstruction, l'Zln, 145w, 280n, 405, 492w, 539. Hamilton, Correspond- 
ence of Jonathan Worth, II, 1003, 1083. 


Letters to Andrew Johnson 105 

The defendant appealed to the Supreme Court at the Jany term 
1867, which confirmed the judgment; and sentence of the Su- 
perior Court. 

Under the date of April 27 th . 1867, Gov. Worth of North Caro- 
lina pardoned Johnson, unconditionally, and on the 6 th day of May 
he was discharged from custody by Judge Edward Warren of the 
Superior Court. 92 

It further appears that Johnson was kept chained in an iron 
cage, 9 feet square and 6 feet high, without fire, and with in- 
sufficient clothing during the whole period from his conviction 
until his release in May 1867, and was a subject of this inhuman 
treatment solely because of his having served in the Union Army. 

I recommend that the Post Commander of Greenboro, N. C. be 
instructed to bring the Sheriff and Jailor of Caswell County, to 
trial before a Post Court, as constituted by circular of May 15 th 
Head Qrs 2 nd Mil District, for cruel and inhuman treatment of 
Johnson, and that the said Court be authorized to hear and de- 
termine any suit that Wm. M. Johnson may bring before it for 

I am Captain 
With respect 
(Signed) Bvt. Col U. S. A. 

Provost Marshal General, 
2nd Mil. Dist. 

A true copy 
L. V. Caziarc 
A D C Mil D.t, 
Hedqrs 2nd mily Dist 
Nov. 11, 1867 

From C F Sussdorff 

Winston Forsythe C°. North Carolina 

Aug. 26 th . 1867. 
To the President of the United States 
Mr. President, 

With feelings of humble trust in your forbearance and kind 
heartedness, I venture once more to hold communion with your 
Excellency by letter, in like manner a[s] I did 12 ms. ago. Ac- 
tuated by a true love of my adopted country my soul shall speak 
to yours as a native hero and patriot in truth and soberness. At 
the time your Excellency passed Warrenton Depot on your way to 
Raleigh, I introduced myself to you, and asked if you could recol- 
lect having received a communication through your lady last 
Summer from a person of my name & you replied that you recol- 
lected something about it &c. I[t] would have given me a great 

92 Edward J. Warren of Beaufort County was a member of the secession convention of 
1861 and the constitutional convention of 1867. He was appointed by Governor Worth as a 
judge to hold a court of oyer and terminer in Lenoir County, and in 1868 he was a candidate 
for judge of the Superior Court. In 1870 he was speaker pro tempore of the state Senate. He 
was considered for the post of United States Senator to succeed Joseph C. Abbott, but 
Zebulon B. Vance was elected. Hamilton, Reconstruction, 121n, 145n, 280n, 536, 562; Hamilton, 
Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, II, 968, 1003, 1083, 1171. 

106 The North Carolina Historical Review 

deal of satisfaction could I have had the opportunity by having 
a conversation with you, but this was out of the question, and 
therefore permit me to address you these lines 

Well Mr. President the Union which we loved with filial af- 
fections, has not been restored as we all fondly hoped, and I am 
afraid never will be, unless the people north come forward and 
acknowledge that your plan is the more efficient, speediest, just 
and magnanimous. This has to come to pass or this government 
will go down in utter destruction and anarchy. My whole being 
yearns for a restoration of fraternal relations between the aii- 
anated sections, but how are the Union loving people treated? 
I need not tell your Excellency. When one contemplates the dis- 
closures recently developed in conspiring against your life and 
high office, a cold shutter creeps through one's whole system, to 
think that such wickedness can exist in a Congress of the U. 
States. Yea ! I say Mr. Johnson those that dig pitts for others to 
fall in will fall into it, themselves. I know and I feel it in my soul 
that you are honest and true in all you have said to Congress con- 
cerning the upholding of the Constitution and the laws, and 
nobody can make me think otherwise. 

The late act of Congress gives the "Registrars plenary powers 
and they use them with a will and their option of course, creating 
a good deal of hard feeling among the rejected, many of whom 
would have contributed heartyly to restoring harmony and pros- 

Sincerely as I wish for a "Reunion," I doubt whether the pres- 
ent "Act," in force will do it? From late indications, I judge that 
the northern People will yet reject the whole plan of radical 
reconstruction and adopt a policy similar to yours if not the iden- 
tial one. Should this sceem be carried through nevertheless, we 
will have then no States ruled and formed exclusively by negro 
votes, and there is no getting round it 

I can well imagine how all this turmoil and confusion must 
worry you in mind and body, and it is a wonder that your health 
continues so well, yet Mr. Johnson I firmly believe that a Higher 
Power than man, sustains and upholds you, because those that 
put their trust in God and humble rely upon his guidance and 
protection He has prommissed He will in no ways forsake in the 
hour of trial. Think of King David, what powerful enemies he had 
to content with, but he had faith in the Lord and He put them all 
under his heels at last. Even the gates of Hell shall not prevail 
against those that fear and love the Lord. 

Every unprejudiced man, in reading your public documents 
must acknowledge that you have pursued a truely constitutional 
course, and the masses of the North will be compelled (as you 
always said) , to fall into ranks, and will yet praise you and bless 
you, for saving the Constitution. At this time down here in the 
South, it is almost considered treason to speak well of our Presi- 
dent and had Mr. W. W. Holden, the power as he has the will, 
those opposed to him would fare but middling. He is a great 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 107 

radical and Anti Administration man, he petrayed his own people 
and leaves no stone unturned in arraying the North against the 
South, because we would not have him for our Governor. Mr. 
President do you blame us for having rejected him, when he has 
proved a broken reed, to say the least, do you also ! The Radicals 
use him as a means, but they have no confidence in him. 

The true hearted Union men are greatly dejected by the course 
affairs are taking, in as much as they had expected better treat- 
ment from Congress, and for that reason are becoming very luke- 
warm in the cause- Many would become Democrats if it was not 
for the name, which they hate beyond believe. For my own part 
I believe that the country can only become prosperous and happy 
again under an administration that advocates Doctrines similar 
to the pure and unadulterated constitution loving Democrats- If 
the name is abnoxious, then call it something else and I will give 
it support. 

If we scan the political Horizon, is there not every prospect, as 
things are managed now, to have both blacks and whites sepa- 
rated into two distinct and opposing parties- Negroes will be 
elected to office, go to Congress &c- and I can not see how it can 
be prevented; then will arise an animosity against the negro in 
the North, which will shake this country to the Centre and may 
prove the extermination of the poor blacks. With these sad al- 
ternatives staring us in the face it is possible that capital will 
settled among us or emigrants be induced to come from either 
abroad or from the North. Nobody would like to live under an 
overwhelming negro majority. 

Another source of great irritation is the forcing of the negro 
into the Jury box. This will be the bitterest pill to swallow after 
all and will be the means of much ill will towards the govern- 
ment. The black colour of a negro may be a great stumbling 
block to the whites, and may be after all, only prejudice in them, 
but that prejudice will not be removed until the millenium comes, 
let the Radicals do what the[y] please they cannot make the 
ethiopian change his skin. 

Mr. President, I trust you will excuse any bad writing, I am 
unused to it but I could not help speaking a kind word to you in 
your difficult situation. May The Lord of Host guide and protect 
you and keep you from all harm, is the sincere wish of your 
humble servant. 

If it is not disagreable to you to hear from me occassionaly 
please signify it by a line or so 

From C. F Sussdorff 

Winston Forsythe Co. North Carolina 

Aug. 28 th . 1867. 
Mrs. President Johnson 
Dear Madam, 

I take the liberty once more to inclose to your address a few 
lines to your much beloved husband, with the respectful request, 

108 The North Carolina Historical Review 

that if it pleases you and after perusing it you think it worth- 
while to hand it to the President to do so, otherwise to destroy it 
as waste paper. I would not deprive him one moment from his 
recreation, or add a feather's weight to his duties, by this com- 
munication, but my wish and intend is to cheer him in my humble 
capacity, for he has a rough road to travel, and would gladly 
assist him in restoring harmony and good feeling if I could. To 
think that a set of villians conspired against his life and station, 
makes one feel horror struck, and draws every christian man and 
woman in the land around him in sympathy. Human sympathy is 
a frail support in mental or bodyly distress, still it is some little 
encouragement to know, that you have it. 

The bitterness existing between the parties is very great and 
where and how it will end, who can know it? 

With my prayer that the Lord will protect you and all your 
house, I subscribe myself 

Your very humble servant. 

From Ellis Malone M. D. 

Louisburg N. C. August 30 th 1867 
Mr. President 

I know you must be almost overwhelmed with business & hence 
I dislike to tax your time even to send a letter. I am no politician, 
never have been. I have always kept myself posted in relation 
to the affairs of the Country. I am 62 years old, have practiced 
medicine all my life untill some 10 years ago when I retired from 
the active duties of my profession. I thought I had enough of 
this worldly goods for me & my four children & my wife which 
should have been named first- 

The accursed war has robed me of nearly all I had made & I am 
now practicing physic [ian] to help me support my family-I am 
a Mason-R, A, M have been master of the lodge in this place for 
8 or 10 years consecutively-am now high priest of the R A chap- 
ter of this place & have been for many years-I am glad to see that 
you too are a Mason and as a Mason & as President of the U. S. 
I address you. I have no one in Washington City to refer you to 
for my standing in my community & hence the above statement 
Gen 1 Howard the head of the Negro Beaureau, knowing me, was 
at my house and partook of my hospitality & knows my loyalty 
to the Constitution & the laws of the U. S. 

I was as much opposed to secession & every thing that con- 
tributed to the late unhappy & wicked war as any man could be 
& yet having been a magistrate 38 years ago & having furnished 
a son a horse to join the cavalry service during the late war, to 
which he volunteered to save himself from conscription I am 
disfranchised but enough of this. There is an impending crisis 
hanging over us of which I am satisfied you nor any of the people 
North are Conversant-The negroes though they worked badly 
yet behaved themselves remarkably well untill some ten months 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 109 

ago-Emisaries black and white, from the north and some meaner 
white men in our midst have been at work with them and have 
excited them, by inflamatory speeches & teachings with promises 
of confiscation of lands for their benefit joining into leagues 
& swearing them to support only radical leaders & to other 
things dangerous to the peace and harmony of the Country untill 
now & for some time back they have become bold defiant impu- 
dent & threatening to such an extent that all thinking men here 
see that a conflict of races is inevitable- Two months ago young 
Holden Son of W W Holden came out here and addressed a large 
crowd of colored people. I with several respectable gentlemen 
went out to hear him. His speech was a most inflamatory & in- 
cendary one & from the beginning to the end calculated if not 
intended to excite the negro against the white man as neces- 
sarily to bring on a conflict between them-I am as satisfied as 
I can be of any thing that has not already transpired that if 
things go on as now existing & has been going on for some months 
that a bloody strife is before us, such as one as no good man can 
contemplate without horrow. What adds to the certainty of this 
thing is that in every conflict now between the white & black 
which occurs the military & the freedmans Beaureau protect the 
black & fine & imprison the white man. This is obliged to em- 
bolden the negro in outrage. I could if this paper would allow of 
it give you cases that I know would arouse your indignation. And 
I assure you upon the honor of a man and a Mason-that the white 
people so far as I know are willing to give the negro all the rights 
he is entitled to under the law. Thousands of people like myself 
are disfranchised, who had no part in Cecession or the war & 
unfortunately many who could register will not do it. Whats the 
use they say we are ruined the north intends to keep us so & 
they have the power & will do it. I know this aught not to be so 
& so do you, but but they cant be reasoned out of it & the regis- 
tration now going on in this County (the board Consisting of two 
negroes and one white man. One of the negroes an illiterate black- 
smith) shows that they (the negro) will have a majority of 
probably 250 to 300 majority whereas if all could register & vote 
the negro would be in the minority-& they are almost every one 
sworn to support the radical ticket & Holden for the next Gov- 
ernor-Should that ever happen-a worse state than that of Ten- 
nessee is ours-I fear you will think my fears are father to my 
thought. The Lord grant it may be so. No yankee that lives among 
us will believe such a thing as a war of races can happen-Every 
intelligent and thinking man I meet an [d] converse with think as 
I say to you above-we feel that we are standing upon a volcano- 
& most of us would get away if we could-but those who have a 
little left cant sell & can not get money to move away I assure 
you that if I could git one half the real worth of what property I 
had left me in cash I would not stay here any longer than was 
absolutely necessary to get away- Where would you go Any where 
to get away from a negro rule a negro insurrection the negro en- 
couraged by the Military & Freedmans Beaureau and the north- 

110 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ern emisaries white & black who are here fanning the flame of 
prejudice & hate & revenge as well as some whites among us for 
self aggrandizement & for bitter revenge 

Excuse me Mr. President I have written to you hurridly-but 
what I have written are the words of truth & soberness-what I 
know and so honestly believe-I dont know that you can do to 
save us and our wives & children the fate refered to above-If 
any thing can be done humanity requires it should be done & done 
quickly or it will be too late with sentimenst of sincere esteem & 

I am sir, Your respectfully & C 

Dr. Sir Will you please have this read the President Hon. e A 
Johnson I take this course fearing he might not get it in the 
ordinary way 

E. Malone 
One of your subscribers- 

From Jonathan Worth 


State of North Carolina 
Executive Department 
Raleigh Sept 10 th 1867. 
Maj. Genl E. R. S. Canby 
Mil Com at 2 nd District. 
Charleston S. C. 

I respectfully submitt for your consideration a few suggestions 
touching the orders of Genl Sickles, several of which I think 
ought to be revoked or essentially modified. 93 

I suppose his Order No- 32 was intended to prevent any dis- 
crimination against color, in the making up of our Juries. Our 
existing laws in this State make no such discrimination- and so 
long as the Civil Rights Bill is recognized as law (and it is rec- 
ognized by all the authorities of this State) the negro being made 
a citizen has all the rights and privileges as to serving on juries 
which belong to the white citizens, but our laws have always re- 
quired a freehold qualification in a juror. 

According to our laws the Justices of the County Courts are 
required from time to time to review the list of free holders and 
cast out such freeholders as they deem unfit to serve on jurors by 
reason of incapacity, bad character or other cause-and out of the 
list of free holders thus purged, to draw and cause to be drawn 
names of jurors for all our Courts of Record Our juries have con- 
sequently been composed of discreet men of fair intelligence. 

Under the order of Genl Sickles, the Justices are required from 
the list of those who shall have been assessed and who shall have 

93 On August 14, Governor Worth wrote Judge Gilliam that he was trying to get 
General Sickles to modify his orders relative to juror service so as not to admit any but 
"a freeholder to serve on the jury." Hamilton, Correspondence of Jonathan Worth, II, 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 111 

paid a tax this year, to draw our juries. They are not allowed to 
cast out any tax-payer however ignorant or debased his moral 

To say nothing of negroes, juries drawn from the whites only 
under this order, would not be fit to pass on the rights of their 
fellowmen. In this State we collect a poll tax. It is a small tax 
almost any citizen can pay it. Some have maintained that the 
word "assessed" applies only to a property tax. The Genl told me 
he meant it to embrace those who had paid any tax either on the 
poll or on property. 

When Chief Justice Chase held his Court here in June, he 
ordered the Marshall to summon Citizens as jurors, without dis- 
crimination as to Color, being otherwise qualified according to 
the laivs of the State. 

I have not been able to appreciate Genl Sickles reasoning on 
this subject. We have hitherto regarded trial by jury as one of 
the chief safe-guards of liberty. With juries constituted according 
to his order, few of us would hereafter have any respect for 
this mode of trial. 

At our County Courts happening next after the 1 st day of Oc- 
tober, juries will be drawn conformably to this order, unless you 
shall revoke or modify it. 

The order creating a Provost Court in Fayetteville composed 
of three Civilians, machinists by trade, neither of them ever hav- 
ing read the law or even so superficially, with jurisdiction over 
five Counties as to all Civil suits and I believe all crimes not 
capitally punished. I regard it as the most extraordinary tribunal 
ever established in this Country for the administration of justice. 

I have not heard of anybody, not even the most prejudicial 
officers of the Freedmen's Bureau who pretended that justice 
has not been impartially and intelligently administered in our 
Superior Courts of Law. I have not heard of a solitary instance 
where unfairness or partiality has been imputed to them. There 
has doubtless been some different representation made to Genl 
S. by some malevolent partizan, but I have no idea any respecta- 
ble person has made such imputation. 

You must readily perceive what confusion must arise where 
the intricacies of the law are to be awarded, or records touching 
the rights of the citizens kept by such a Court- I think no good- 
nothing but mischief can flow from this tribunal and I earnestly 
urge its immediate abolition. 

If you be unwilling from this representation to abolish the 
tribunal without further investigation, then I respectfully ask 
to be informed upon what representation it was created, to the 
end that I may offer to you counter evidence showing the in- 
expediency of the establishment and continuance of such Court. 

I have the honor to be 
Yours very Respectfully 
Governor of N. C. 

112 The North Carolina Historical Review 


Maj. Gen E. R. S. Canby. State of North Carolina. 

Mil Com at 2 lld . Dist Executive Department. 

Charleston S. C. Raleigh Sept r 11, 1867. 


I inclose to you a communication from Fred L. Roberts, and 
others-all gentlemen of high character for intelligence and honor 
for such action on your part as you may deem proper. 94 

When there is no pretence by any body, so far as I have heard, 
that justice is not impartially administered in all of our Superior 
Courts of Law, I cannot conceive why so many Military arrests 
have been made in the State. They would be much less exception- 
able, if, at the time of the arrest, the charges were made known 
and a preliminary trial had been incarceration. 

This power of Military arrest has been most oppressively exer- 
cised, in this State. One example of it was the arrest of Duncan 
G. McRae, of Fayetteville, some months ago. He was seized, 
carried to a distant Military prison, Fort Macon, and detained a 
prisoner some two or three months, without notice of the ac- 
cusation against him. He was not permitted to give bail,- nor to 
go on his parol. He was finally brought to trial before the Mili- 
tary Court here, in which General Avery is Judge Advocate. He 
was charged with murder on the affidavit of a base woman in Fay- 
etteville. Genl Avery procured his arrest upon the affidavit of 
this vile woman. There was no other evidence against him. Be- 
sides her bad character, every material fact in her statement was 
proved to be false by the most plenary evidence. When brought 
to trial the evidence of this woman was so manifestly false, that 
the Court discharged him without examining his witnesses. He 
is an old and highly respectable man, I have never heard any 
citizen, white or black, respectable or ignoble, who entertained the 
slightest suspicion of his guilt, excepting Genl Avery, and the 
base woman on whose affidavit the arrest was made. 

I think that public justice and sound policy alike forbid the 
trial of citizens before Military Court unless there be good ground 
to believe that justice will not be administered by our Courts. 

In the particular case referred to in the inclosed petition, if 
there be any evidence against any of the parties, there would be 
no hesitation on the part of the Civil authorities of the State to 
indict and punish them. 

If the Military have knowledge of such evidence, why should 
they not make it known to the Civil authorities, and resort to a 
Military trial only when the Civil authorities decline to act. 

The Superior Court of Law sits in Chowan, in which County 
the alleged offence occurred, on 2 nd Monday after the 4 th Monday 
of this month. I hope the trial of these men will be turned over to 
that Court. I will guaranty that the Solicitor for that circuit will 
summon and examine every witness the Military may designate 

04 For further details on the subject, see General Canby's letter of September 17, p. 117. 
A letter from Governor Worth on the subject, dated November 30, 1867, is to be published 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 113 

and that a fair and impartial trial will be had-and that in the 
meantime they may be released from imprisonment, on giving 
bail in any amount the Post Commander may deem adequate to 
insure their appearance. 

Immediately after the escape of Pratt, I offered a reward for 
his apprehension. 

I have the honor to be 
Yours very Respectfully, 
Governor of N. C. 

From Fred L. Roberts and others 

Copij [Sept 11, 1867] 

To His Excellency 
Jonathan Worth 
Governor &C 


A short time since six white men, Whitaker Myers, James 
Harrell, W m . White, Sr., Isaac White, John White, and W m White 
Jr. respectable and good citizens of Perquimans County was 
arrested and carried off by parties claiming to act under author- 
ity from Maj. Genl. Sickles. They were removed to Plymouth on 
the Str. Emilie, in charge of Col Hincks, Provost Marshall Gen- 
eral of the 2 nd Military District and it has been several times 
reported, have from that time been made to work on the Streets 
and other public places under a negro guard 

No explanation of the arrest, so far as we can ascertain, has 
been made, tho it has been reported in this Community, that they 
were arrested on suspicion of being engaged in releasing Thomas 
Pratt from jail. 

A brief statement may be necessary. Pratt was sometime since 
arrested by the Civil authorities of Chowan County on the charge 
of killing one James Norcom (freedman) . He was promptly im- 
prisoned by the Civil authorities before the negro died, and after 
remaining in jail sometime, was, as represented by the jailer, 
forcibly taken therefrom, giving some named night-by ten or 
fifteen men, whom he was unable to identify, or even recognize 
as black or white. 

If the parties arrested are guilty of so flagrant a violation of 
law, we think we represent the sentiment of the community in 
saying that they should and on due conviction will be punished, 
and we are confident that a people so guilty and highly extolled 
for justice, obedience to law, and honor by Maj. Genl. Sickles, as 
the people of North Carolina are, will never fail in the discharge 
of any loyal or moral obligation. And we think that as the offence 
is said to have been committed in the State of N. C. and is one 
against our laws, the Civil authorities should have jurisdiction. 
We don't think that the Military authorities can charge any in- 
diffierence or tardiness of action to the Civil authorities of Cho- 

114 The North Carolina Historical Review 

wan or Perquimans Counties, for in every instance within our 
knowledge they have acted promptly and impartially. 

In deed in the very matter against Pratt, we understand that 
Lt Col Bentgoni, expressed himself highly gratified with their 
prompt and inpartial action. 

So far as it has been ascertained there is not a particle of evi- 
dence against any one of the parties arrested, who lived con- 
siderable distance from Pratt, and from Edenton, but unfortu- 
nately were either relatives or acquaintances. 

Indeed in the case of Myers, his only relative arrested, it is a 
well ascertained fact that he was sick at home on the night of 
Pratt's escape, and it is confidentially asserted that on alibi can 
be forwared in favor of all the others. 

We, therefore citizens of Chowan and Perquimans Counties 
respectfully petition your Excellency to take such action in the 
matter, that the accused may either be turned over to the Civil 
authorities or have a speedy trial by Military authorities and 
not be punished until they are convicted. 

We have the honor to be 
Fred L. Roberts J. E. Leary 

Wm Bembury Aug. M. Moore 

Wm R. Skinner J. F. Gilbert 

P. F. White C. W. Norcom 

W. C. Jones W. A. B. Norcom 

L. P. Warren S. I. Skinner 

J. E. Norfleet David A. Halley 

N. S. Perkins W. H. Hughes 

From John B. Weaver 95 

Collector's Office 
United States Internal Revenue 
Seventh District, North Carolina. 
Asheville, 11 th Sept 1867 
I take this opportunity of certifying that I have been ac- 
quainted with several of the petitioners in this case and from my 
knowledge of the men I have not any doubt of the correctness of 
the statements- My knowledge of the plaintif's counsel also con- 
firms this belief. Wm Henderson the second petitioner was my 
hospital Steward while I was acting as Surgeon of the 2 nd N.° C a . 
mounted Infantry 96 

Collector 7 th Dist. 
N.° C. a 

95 Most of the collectors of internal revenue were carpetbaggers and defaulters. Among 
these was John B. Weaver of the sixth North Carolina district, who according to the news- 
papers was in arrears in the amount of $59,125.47. Hamilton, Reconstruction, 417-418. 

96 The petition of Henderson and others is dated July 20, 1867. See previous installment 
of "Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson," The North Carolina Historical 
Review, XXVIII (October, 1951), 504. During the Civil War General Lee was much disturbed 
about the desertion of soldiers to the Union army in western North Carolina. According 
to available evidence in the Andrew Johnson Papers, Madison County had many Union 
sympathizers. See W. W. Rollin's letter of September 15, 1867, p. 116, and others pertaining 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 115 

From Alexander H. Jones 97 

Asheville N. C. Sept. 11, 1867, 
Gen. Canby 
Dear Sir: 

The accompanying petition has been presented to me with the 
request that I make such a stat [e] ment in reff erence to the mat- 
ter as I deem just and proper. I know nothing personally as to 
the statements of the occurence, but know the relations of the 
parties, as setforth, to be true, and that the general c[h]aracter 
of the man Merrell to be that of a desporado, and that some of 
your petitioners with whom I am personally acquainted are good 
citizens and of good c[h]aracter. I have not the least doubt but 
the petitoners can readily substantiate all set forth in their peti- 
tion, and in my humble opinion it would be an act of justice to 
quash the proceedings against the parties. 

At the time of the occurrence much excitement prevailed 
throughout this mountain section of country, and the man Mer- 
rell belonged to a class of men whose hatred of the Union and its 
friends prompted much of such conduct and outrages, and I am 
sorry to have to add, in giving my opinion, that the predudices 
produced by the rebellion has so much embittered the feelings 
of many who have the administering of the laws, as to render it 
difficult for the Unionists to obtain justice in our courts, and 
further, that it is my opinion that this very action has been in- 
stigated by lawyers most bitter in their feelings against the 
United States Government and its friends. Under ordinary cir- 
cumstances it is certainly imprudent to implicate the motives of 
the courts of justice, But when cases appear so glareing as to 
require the interpretation of higher power not only in acts of 

to lawlessness in Madison County and the interference in behalf of the Unionists by the 

military authorities. Also the following letter. 


I have previously stated to you the importance of clearing the mountains & Country in 
your dept: of deserters, absentees etc- I hope you will now be able to accomplish it- No time 
should be lost in setting on foot the complete reorganization of your Command & the regula- 
tion of all matters pertaining to your Dept - 

A letter has recently been referred to me by the Sec r War, from the Honb ,e C. G. Mem- 
inger, who is now residing at Flat Rock N. C. giving a lamentable account of the sufferings 
of the citizens in that section of Country, from the conduct of deserters, traitors &- I have 
previously instructed Gen 1 Martin to employ all the force under his Command, Cols. Palmers 
& Thomas, troops in destroying these bandette & their haunts. I have now repeated these 
instructions & suggest that a combined movement might be made to advantage, by the 
Reserves in S.C. his own troops in N.C. & a portion of yours, & directed him to com- 
municate with you on the subject- If nothing should prevent & the plan be practicable, I 
request that you will cooperate with him- My resp* 

R E Lee 
Gen 1 J. C. Breckenridge 
Comm r 

Robert E. Lee Papers, Library of Congress. 

97 Alexander Hamilton Jones (July 21, 1822- January 29, 1901) was born in Buncombe 
County; engaged in mercantile business prior to the Civil War; enlisted in the Union army 
in 1863; was captured in east Tennessee while raising a regiment of Union soldiers; was 
Imprisoned at Asheville, Libby Prison in Richmond, and elsewhere; made his escape on 
November 14, 1864, and joined the Union forces in Cumberland, Maryland; returned to 
North Carolina after the Civil War and was a member of the convention of 1865; elected 
as a Republican to the Thirty-ninth Congress, but was not permitted to qualify; upon the 
readmission of North Carolina in the Union he was elected and served in Congress from 
July 6, 1868, to March 3, 1871; lived in Asheville, 1884-1890; later moved to Oklahoma and 
California. Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1927, 1159. 

116 The North Carolina Historical Review 

commission but of omission of duty also, we should not shut our 
eyes against a remedy. 

I hesitate not to give it as my opinion that four fifths of the 
citizens of the county in which the occurrence took place, be- 
lieve the prosecution to be unjust, and that the object is to harass 
the parties and run them to cost and expense, I am personally well 
acquainted with Maj : W. W. Rollins who served in the Union 
Army against the rebellion in the third Regiment of North Caro- 
lina volunteers, whose certifficate accompanies the petition, and 
who is entirely trustworthy gentleman. 

Very Respectfully, 

Editor of Asheville Pioneer 

Member elect to the 39 th Congress 
Respectfully submitted 
To Genl Canby 
2 d Military Dist 

From W. W. Rollins 98 

Marshall N. C. 

Sept 15 th 1867. 
Major Genl Canby 
Comdg 2 nd Mily Dist. 

I have the honor to make the following Statement, that I am 
a resident of Madison County and have been for ten years that I 
was personally acquainted with Ransom P Merril[l] late Sheriff 
of Madison County and am personally acquainted with J J Guder 
W A Henderson H A Barnard Thos J Rector Wm R McNew M. W 
Roberts-who have each signed a petition asking relief from a 
prosecution against them in the State courts of North Carolina 
as being accessory in the Killing of said Ransom P Merill" I know 
that Merril[l] was a desperate man and provoked Neely Tweed 
to Kill him by shotting Tweeds son without cause or provocation. 
Merril[l] sent his son to an election ground and his son swore 
that no Dam Tory or Black Republican could vote on the ground 
and that his father had gone to Marshall and no Dam Tory could 
vote there- All the Merill Family are bitter rebels yet. I was 
taken down from making a union speach on the day of election 
by Merril's son and on a ground of desperados- 

98 Rollins joined forces with Holden and the carpetbag regime in the state. When Holden 
decided upon a reign of terror in 1870, he invited Rollins to enlist forty-five or fifty stout 
mountaineers to be placed on equal footing with regular soldiers. Rollins wisely declined 
and recommended George W. Kirk for the post. In 1870 Rollins was a candidate for the 
House of Representatives, but he was defeated by the refusal of the election officers to count 
the votes of the men under Kirk who were on duty in Caswell and Alamance counties at 
the time of the election in Madison County. Hamilton, Reconstruction, 498-499, 535; Arthur, 
Western North Carolina, 449, 462, 466-467. 

99 See petition of July 20, 1867, in "Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson," 
The North Carolina Historical Review, XXVIII (October, 1951), 504. 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 117 

I am fully and personally acquainted with the facts setforth 
by your petitoners and know them to be true and that I know 
they were all union men some of them had sons under me in the 
Federal army And that I do not believe men of their union record 
could get Justice in the State Courts as they are now organized. 
As a general thing the union mussey are excluded from the juror 
box and the Rebels put in and that I have no doubt but on Mili- 
tary investigation of the whole matter would relieve your peti- 
tioners from further cost or trouble and with whole matter 

As the matter is now prosecuted is malicious as they are well 
aware. But your petitioner [s] are men of property, and they the 
heirs of meril[l] get their suit through under the free courts — 

Your obt Servant 
Late major 3 d N C Mtd Inft U S 

From Edward R. S. Canby 100 

Head Quarters 2 nd Military Dist. 
Charleston S. C. Sept. 17 th 1867. 
His Excellency 
Governor of North Carolina 
Raleigh N. C. 

I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communi- 
cation of the 11 th - inst and its enclosures. 

On the night of the 28 th of July last the jail at Edenton N. C. 
was entered and a prisoner-Thomas Pratt-who was then confined 
for the murder of Jas Norcross, was taken out by an armed party 
of persons unknown. Detectives were put upon the trace of the 
guilty parties, who succeeded in ferreting them out and they were 
arrested and turned over to the Comdg Officer at Plymouth N. C. 
until the civil authorities could try them. The Commanding 
Officer of the Post, was authorized to take bail for them, if it 
should be offered. 

I see no ground for complaint in the fact that persons charged 
with crime have been arrested by the military authorities and are 
held in custody until the Civil authorities are prepared to try 

Very Respectfully, Sir, 
Your Obt. Servant. 

Bvt. Major General Commanding 
A true copy 
A. D. C. A. A. A. G. 

100 On August 26. 1867, President Johnson removed General Sickles from the command 
of troops in North Carolina and appointed General Canby in his stead. 

118 The North Carolina Historical Review 

From Rufus S. Tucker 101 

Raleigh N C 
Sept 21, 1867 
President Johnson 
Dr Sr. 

I am compiling the speeches of the Hon'l David L Swain, on the 
occasion of the Completion of the monument to Jacob Johnson & 
at the Dedication of "Tucker Hall" The work will be gotten up in 
a neat style, and includes Maps ; charts, & other matter relative to 
the Early Times of Raleigh: 102 

Enclosed please find the first 36 pages : Any Contribution you 
may feel disposed to make, will be repaid in copies of the work, I 
propose Completing the Book in about three weeks. 

Trusting your administration may tend to the permanent Set- 
tlement of our present unhappy difficulties. I 

Remain yours truly 
Son of Ruffin Tucker Deed 
An Early answer is respectfully requested to enable us to go on 
with the work 


From Hiram Hulin 

Troy N. C. 

Sept 28 th 1867 
Col M Cogwell Commanding the Post of Fayetteville, N. C. 103 

Permit me to address a line to you in which I ask your opinion 
of the course proper to be pursued in regard to the arrest and 
trial of certain persons who in the time of the war murdered my 
three sons Jesse, John and William Hulin and also James Atkins. 
These murderers arrested my sons and James Atkins who were 
evading the military service in the Confederate Army ; after ar- 
resting them they took them before two justices of the Peace for 
trial. From the only information which we can get the Justices 
committed them to Jail. They were delivered into the hands of 
the murderers who were home-guard troops and while on their 
way to the pretended prison they deliberately shot and beat to 
death with guns and rocks my three sons and Atkins while tied 
with their hands and hand-cuffed together. One Henry Plott now 
residing in the County of Cabarrus was the officer in command of 

101 Rufus Sylvester Tucker (April 25, 1829-August 4, 1894) received his A. B. degree from 
the University of North Carolina in 1848 and his M. A. in 1868. He was a merchant, 
planter, a major in the Confederate army, and a member of the military staff of North 
Carolina. Daniel Lindsey Grant, Alumni History of the University of North Carolina, 628. 

102 Published in Raleigh in 1867 by Walters, Hughes & Company. President Johnson was 
present at the dedication of the monument to Jacob Johnson in June, 1867. 

103 Milton Cogwell of Indiana graduated at West Point on July 1, 1849, and continued in 
the service of the United States Army until he retired on September 5, 1871. On October 21, 
1861, he was brevetted as a major for meritorious service at the battle of Ball Bluff, 
Virginia, and on July 30, 1864, he was made a lieutenant colonel for service at Petersburg, 
Virginia. Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of the United States Army, I, 314-315. 

Letters to Andrew Johnson 119 

the s[q]uad of murderers at the time of the murder was com- 
mitted Most of the murders were strangers to the people of the 
County and their names are entirely unknown to us except one 
George W. Sigler who now resides quietly in Marshall County 
Mississippi. Against him a bill has been found by the Grand- jury 
of this County. His Post office is Byhala about 16 miles from Holly 
Springs Mississippi. I have informed the State Solicitor of his 
where abouts and nothing is done for his arrest. Permit me to 
pray you in the name of my departed sons to lend the aid of the 
Military force of the government to arrest and bring to trial the 
felonious murderer. I beseech you by all the paternal feelings 
which a father should hold for a son to lend us aid in this matter. 

We would earnestly commend that you arrest Henry Plott as 
so called Captain in the Confederate Army in command of the 
murderous squad and that he be held in custody till he reveals 
the names of the remainder of the murderers. Henry Plott was 
heard to say soon after the murder "we caught four" the question 
was asked "what did you do with them ? Answer we put them up 
a Spout. Did you kill them"? "Yes we did" All the facts above 
stated can be proved by the best of testimony 

You will please inform us by your earlyest [sic] convenience 
what course you can take in matter and what it may be necessary 
for us to do in the premises. With Great respect I am sir 

Your obedient servant 
To Col M Gogswell 

[To be continued'] 


To Make My Bread: Preparing Cherokee Foods. Edited by Mary Ulmer and 
Pp m 72 ) BeCk ' (Cher ° kee ' N ' C " M " SeUm ° f the Cher " kee ^TlS 

This book is unique— a completely new and refreshing descrip- 
tion of Cherokee cooklore. 

For the first time, a wide collection of original recipes used by 
the Cherokee people is in print. These recipes are rich in folk- 
lore. They have been handed down for hundreds of years and 
without doubt will intrigue many readers. The unusual recipes 
with history and human interest stories, are combined into an 
appealing story of the present-day Cherokee people and their 
foods customs. 

Never have we heard of some of the rare dishes as described in 
To Make My Bread. As one would naturally expect, foods and 
recipes discussed include wild fruits, vegetables and meats such 
as bear, venison, bison, squirrel, racoon, wild turkey, opossum 
crayfish, and groundhog, crab apples, grapes, gooseberries,' 
watercress, creases, sochani, artichokes, mushrooms, and leather 
breeches. The common drinks include sumac ade, sassafras tea, 
spicewood tea, and hickory nut milk. 

On festive occasions, especially for "The Feast," it is not un- 
common for the cooks to prepare forty or more different dishes 

Another interesting feature of this book is a long list of native 
herbs and some of the uses made of them. 

This is a fascinating book in format and in design. Reading 
is easy, with pictures that make for a clearer understanding of 
the Cherokee Indians' way of life. College and high school home 
economics departments, foods editors, and home demonstration 
agents will find To Make My Bread of educational value in 
teaching these foods customs and giving stories of the Cherokee 
Indians' way of life. 

Ruth Current. 

North Carolina State College, 


Book Reviews 121 

Unto These Hills, a Drama of the Cherokee. By Kermit Hunter. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1950. Pp. iv, 100. $2.00.) 

The literature of symphonic drama has momentarily taken 
its departure from the hands of its originator Paul Green ; and 
the influence seeping out of Manteo, Williamsburg, and Wash- 
ington has been carried into the western North Carolina moun- 
tains and the Abraham Lincoln country of Illinois by Kermit 
Hunter. Though Paul Green has not abandoned the form he 
created and though doubtless we shall again see symphonic 
dramas devised by his pen, young Mr. Hunter has temporarily 
grasped the torch and moved forward with it. 

We are not to assume that Hunter is already another Green, 
with whom he cannot escape comparison. His play, Unto These 
Hills, which has played two extremely successful summers in 
its beautiful outdoor theatre at Cherokee, is an impressive pro- 
duction. This reviewer has seen it, and he was vastly pleased. 
It is still, however, more history than drama. Beginning with 
De Soto's visit to the Cherokee Nation in the sixteenth century, 
it moves quickly to the early nineteenth century and on into the 
story of the white man's treachery and lack of faith and honor 
during the forced Cherokee removals to Oklahoma. It is a sorry 
episode in American history — one for which we cannot easily 
forgive our forefathers. Andrew Jackson, regardless of the rea- 
sons for his actions, emerges as the villain. The dupes who are 
the government's agents are picturesquely presented, but we can 
hardly blame them for the national disgrace. 

Mr. Hunter has attempted to make a theatre piece out of 
all this Cherokee history by focusing the action on Tsali and his 
celebrated and great sacrifice, but he has not quite succeeded. 
Tsali's role is more evident, however, in the book than on the 
outdoor stage, where his identity in the early scenes is hopelessly 
lost among the Indian leaders like Junaluska and Sequoyah. 

The author is careful to inform us that certain modifications 
from actual historical records "have been made in the interest 
of dramatic unity." Very well. But this reviewer fails to under- 
stand what dramatic unity is served by holding over Chief 
Drowning Bear (and why not use his noble Indian name Yona- 
guska?) to 1841, when a historical highway marker not far from 
the reservation proclaims that he died in 1839. 

122 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Unto These Hills is a tremendous effort, nevertheless. It is 

history beautifully and interestingly presented. 

Richard Walser. 

North Carolina State College. 

Essays on North Carolina History. By Clarence W. Griffin. (Forest City, 
N. C: The Forest City Courier. 1951. Pp. x, 284. $4.50.) 

The reader need not expect to find in this volume a series of 
carefully documented and analytical essays on significant or 
difficult phases of North Carolina history. Nothing so pretentious 
is undertaken here, for the author, who is the editor of The 
Forest City Courier as well as something of an antiquarian and 
expert on local history, has simply reprinted a column which 
he wrote for his newspaper under the title of "Dropped Stitches 
in Rutherford History." The title of the volume is perhaps mis- 
leading, and Mr. Griffin admits it "could have just as well been 
'A Scrapbook Of North Carolina History/ " The essays follow no 
particular pattern of chronology or subject matter, but most of 
them deal with topics relating to Rutherford County. 

Obviously Mr. Griffin writes about the subjects which interest 
him and which he hopes will interest his readers. Forest City and 
Spindale are towns whose history receives special attention, and 
extensive lists of local officeholders are included. Stories of old 
families, old houses, churches, civic organizations, and schools, 
as well as anecdotes and legends, all have a place. While this 
was essentially an agricultural county, some attention is given 
to the development of the local textile industry and to the at- 
tempts to exploit the mineral resources of the county. The story 
of the "Speculation Land Company," springing from the promo- 
tion efforts of Tench Coxe of Philadelphia in 1796, suggests that 
the charms of this area were known long before Forest City 
(originally "Burnt Chimney") made its appearance. 

The merit of this book rests strictly upon its contribution 
to local history. Unfortunately, the illustrations are poorly 

Robert H. Woody. 

Duke University, 


Book Reviews 123 

General Charles Lee: Traitor or Patriot? By John Richard Alden. (Baton 
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press. 1951. Pp. ix, 369. $4.75.) 

Charles Lee is a revolutionary figure generally described un- 
complimentarily by historians. Believing the animosity toward 
Lee springs partly from his being regarded as a sinister figure 
because of his controversy with Washington and from a sus- 
picion that he was a traitor to America, Professor Alden at- 
tempts to rescue Lee from this stigma and present him, properly, 
he believes, as "one of the fathers of the American Republic" 
by relating Lee's story objectively, disclaiming any desire to 
create one idol or to destroy another (i.e., Washington), but 
admitting to the normal bias a biographer develops toward his 

The main points in this reappraisal are a relation of Lee's 
activities opposing George III and supporting the American 
cause in the pre-independence period, and a re-examination of 
his actions in 1777, in proposing a plan to his British captors 
for American defeat, and in 1778 at the Monmouth battle, with 
the consequent controversy with Washington. The latter episodes 
have been the basis for most of the condemnation of Lee. Re- 
garding Lee's 1777 proposal, the author absolves Lee of treason 
charges, maintaining Lee was attempting to aid America by 
misleading Howe, and contending treason could not have been 
involved since Lee was not an American and had not taken an 
oath of loyalty. However, no positive evidence is presented to 
lead one to disagree with Randolph G. Adams's conclusion that 
"it is . . . extremely difficult for the historian to deny ... it was 
giving aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States." 
(Dictionary of American Biography, XI, 100.) Concerning the 
Monmouth affair, and Lee's subsequent court-martial, evidence 
is presented seriously questioning the correctness of the court's 
decision. Here, the reviewer feels, Professor Alden has been 
too favorable toward Lee and too critical of Lee's opponents, 
especially Washington. 

The author has relied mainly on The Lee Papers published 
by the New York Historical Society. Omission of a bibliography 
and frequent failure to identify letters and locate manuscript 
collections cited in the notes impair the scholarly apparatus of 

124 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the work. Placing the notes at the back of the book is regrettable. 
The index appears adequate. The format, style, and editing are 

L. Walter Seegers. 

North Carolina State College, 

The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians. By J. F. J. Caldwell. 
(Philadelphia: King and Baird. 1866. Reprinted, Marietta, Georgia: 
Continental Book Company. 1951. Pp. 247.) 

Most readers of Civil War accounts are presented with a 
sweeping panorama of grand strategy, great campaigns, battles 
won and lost, and famous generals. The reader of J. F. J. 
Caldwell's little history of a South Carolina brigade will find 
instead a day by day account of one unit's participation in the 
dramatic struggle. The brigade, known first as Gregg's and 
later as McGowan's, was composed of the First, Twelfth, Thir- 
teenth, and Fourteenth regiments of volunteers, and Orr's 
Regiment of Rifles. It was a part of Gen. A. P. Hill's famous 
Light Division, and as such was engaged in battle at Cold Harbor, 
Second Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, 
the Wilderness, the siege of Petersburg, and others, and was 
among troops surrendered by Lee at Appomattox. The author, 
an officer in the First Regiment and a man of considerable 
education, wrote his narrative from recollection, from conver- 
sation with fellow officers, and from company, regimental, and 
divisional reports when they were accessible. His manner was 
one of detachment and keenness of observation, resembling that 
of a modern newspaper correspondent in many respects. He 
displayed very little bias, and only in his account of the final 
surrender did he descend into sentimentality, which may per- 
haps be forgiven him. The descriptions are excellent without 
being florid, except in the eulogies of commanding officers killed 
in action. The accounts of the battles of Fredericksburg and 
Chancellorsville especially must be cited for their vividness and 
sensitivity of observation. 

Valuable as the book doubtless is for reconstructing battle 
scenes of the Civil War, its greatest interest lies in its portrayal 
of a soldier's life. The eager young men, accustomed to many 

Book Reviews 125 

niceties of life, learned to pillage, to cook weevilly meal and 

rancid bacon, to endure diarrhea and dysentery, to label various 

lice as "confederates," "zouaves," and "tigers/' to sleep in rain 

and mud, sometimes even to sleep marching along — in short, 

to endure war for four years and to become a highly trained 

fighting machine capable of dressing while advancing across a 

wheat field under fire. After the retreat from Gettysburg one 

can read between the lines the first note of fatality. The increased 

tempo and pressure of the fighting after Grant was placed in 

command in Virginia clearly indicated the beginning of the end. 

Caldwell finally acknowledged this during the winter of 1864, 

and in chapter XVI he has given an excellent analysis of failing 

civilian morale and the desperate situation of the troops. 

The general reader as well as the historian will find much 

to interest him in this history of a South Carolina brigade. 

Sarah McCulloh Lemmon. 

Meredith College, 

The Ragged Ones. By Burke Davis. (New York: Rinehart and Company. 
1951. Pp. 336. $3.50.) 

There is always room for one more, provided the addition 
has something to contribute. Burke Davis's realistic portrayal 
of the backwoods soldier of the Revolution in the Carolinas 
justifies this latest in a long line of novels concerned with the 
march of Cornwallis through North Carolina in 1780-1781. 
E. P. Roe was perhaps the first to work this medium with his 
Hornet's Nest of 1886. He was followed by such popular pur- 
veyors of romanticized history as Cyrus T. Brady When Blades 
Are Out and Love's Afield, 1901) and Francis Lynde (The 
Master of Appleby, 1902). Interest revived in the 1940's and 
from this period we have LeGette Blythe, Alexandriana, 1940; 
Inglis Fletcher, Toil of the Brave, Kings Mountain Edition, 
1946; Maristan Chapman, Rogue's March, 1949; and Florette 
Henri, Kings Mountain, 1950. None of these is entirely satis- 
factory to the professional historian and none, of course, was 
written for him. 

126 The North Carolina Historical Review 

A book should be appraised primarily on the basis of the au- 
thor's purpose in writing it, or it should be ignored. With this as 
a criterion, The Ragged Ones is an outstanding success. Burke 
Davis has made the back-country rebellion live again, and he 
has done it in the literary taste of today. Descriptive passages 
and characterizations have frequently the ring of authenticity. 
There are pages which read like source material of a type often 
sought but rarely found. It is disillusioning, therefore, to be 
stopped short by errors in fact which cast doubt on the reliability 
of the convincing period atmosphere. There are many minor 
slips, but the most annoying is the author's falsification in his 
chapter entitled "Tarrant's Tavern." The state's historical 
highway marker plainly entitles the skirmish "Torrence's Tav- 
ern," and Mr. Davis lived long enough in Charlotte to be ac- 
quainted with the family of that name. His treatment of the 
"Widow Tarrant" exceeds the license permissible to historical 
novelists. Mrs. Adam Torrence was a well-known local figure 
in no way resembling the Widow Tarrant who usurps her pre- 
rogatives in the novel. 

On the plus side, we get an unvarnished picture of a time 
and place which Mr. Davis correctly interprets. His antidote 
to D. A. R. romanticism (with no disrespect to the order in- 
tended by the reviewer) was much needed. Few of his revela- 
tions come as either a shock or a surprise to the professional 
historian. But in this era of McCarthy vigilance it is well to be 
reminded that even ancestors for hereditary society membership 
had their subversive moments. Many of the outstanding figures 
of the War for Independence could with difficulty escape an 
investigation today. As an honest chronicler of the ragged ones 
who fought the war, Mr. Davis has performed a commendable 
service for his readers, few of whom will be troubled by this 
reviewer's respect for accurate historical detail. 

Chalmers G. Davidson. 

Davidson College, 

Book Reviews 127 

They Gave Us Freedom. Compiled and edited for Colonial Williamsburg 
and the College of William and Mary in Virginia under the direction 
of William F. Davidson of Knoedler Galleries and A. Pierce Middleton. 
Narrative by Parke Rouse, Jr. (New York: Gallery Press for Colonial 
Williamsburg and the College of William and Mary in Virginia. 1951. 
Pp. 66. $2.50 cloth, $1.50 paper-bound.) 

Since the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg was under- 
taken by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., in 1927, at the suggestion 
of W. A. R. Goodwin, that early Virginia capital has become 
a mecca for thousands of Americans interested in the colonial 
and revolutionary past of their country. In 1947 Paul Green's 
"The Common Glory" was presented to the public for the first 
time, making an additional attraction for the summer visitor 
in that historic village. 

In commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the independ- 
ence of Virginia and twelve other British colonies which resulted 
in the birth of the United States, Colonial Williamsburg and 
the College of William and Mary sponsored an exhibition of the 
best existing visual evidence of the persons and events that 
made our independence possible. The exhibition was held during 
the early summer of 1951, closing on July 4th. This collection 
of art from far and near is now recorded for posterity in this 
thin volume, thus offering a unified story of the Revolution in 
pictorial form. 

At least three of the artists represented in this little book 
took an active part in the American Revolution. The elder Peale 
brothers, Charles Willson and James, and John Trumbull were 
all officers in the American army. Charles Willson Peale alone 
painted thirteen of the pictures reproduced here. Washington 
is known to have sat for at least seven portraits by Charles 
Willson, and in all, Peale is credited with over sixty paintings 
of the Commander-in-Chief. One of the best known of these 
serves as a frontispiece for this collection. 

It is to be regretted that only three of one-eyed John Trum- 
bull's works are given in these pages. "The Battle of Bunker 
Hill," "The Surrender of Cornwallis," and "Alexander Hamil- 
ton" are but samples of his delightful work. Trumbull is often 
referred to as the "Painter of the Revolution," and most of the 
early great in America sat before his easel at least once. 

128 The North Carolina Historical Review 

All the artists represented by three or more paintings in the 
exhibition had started their careers in the art before the Revo- 
lution began except John Vanderlyn, the one-time protege of 
Aaron Burr. However, Gilbert Stuart, John Singleton Copley 
and James Sharpies were in England when the war began and 
none of them returned until after Washington became Presi- 
dent for his first term. The works of these men were thus not 
directly influenced by the trying days of the young republic 
before the Constitution was finally adopted. 

Compositions from the brushes of more than twenty artists 
are included among the sixty-five pictures in They Gave Us 
Freedom. Reproductions of several historic documents and 
photographs of busts by Giuseppe Ceracchi and Jean-Antoine 
Houdon complete the illustrations. 

The narrative takes up about one-fourth the space and ties 
the pictorial story together. Here in a few words is a well- 
rounded and concise history of all phases of the Revolution. 
The reviewer has not often seen so much covered with so few 
words, or done so well. 

Daniel M. McFarland. 

Blue Mountain College, 
Blue Mountain, Mississippi. 

College Life at Old Oglethorpe. By Allen P. Tankersley. (Athens: Univer- 
sity of Georgia Press. 1951. Pp. xvi, 184. Illustrated. $3.00.) 

"Old Oglethorpe" was located at Midway, a village in central 
Georgia only two miles from Milledgeville, the state capital. 
Rather pretentiously named Oglethorpe University by its 
founders, it was really a small, denominational liberal arts 
college. Presbyterians established the school in the late 1830's 
for "the cultivation of piety and the diffusion of useful knowl- 
edge." From the day it opened in January, 1838, to the day it 
expired in December, 1872, Oglethorpe, like most colleges of its 
kind, had to struggle for its very existence. The Civil War 
closed its doors only temporarily, but lack of funds forced it to 
cease operations entirely — at a time when the school had just 
moved to Atlanta, the new state capital, and appeared to be 
developing into a real university. In spite of all difficulties 

Book Reviews 129 

Oglethorpe left an indelible impress. At least a thousand young 
men studied there; more than three hundred graduated; for 
twenty-four years the able Dr. Samuel K. Talmage was president 
of the college; the noted scientists Dr. Joseph Le Conte and 
Dr. James Woodrow served on the faculty ; the illustrious Sidney 
Lanier was first a student and then a tutor. 

Allen P. Tankersley has performed a valuable and useful 
service in telling the story of this institution. Not only has he 
discussed founders, presidents, benefactors, debts, fund-raising 
campaigns, professors, controversies, college rules, courses of 
study, and commencements, but he has succeeded in painting 
an authentic picture of student life. His chapter on the student 
literary societies, entitled "Thalians and Phi Deltas," is excellent. 
Also, he has related the history of the college to the history of 
the times and the region, especially as regards the coming, 
course, and consequences of the Civil War. Above all, he im- 
presses upon the reader the profound and far-reaching influence 
of the spiritual power that Oglethorpe generated. The author 
brings to his task the always fortunate combination of scholarly 
training and literary skill. It is possible that he has been over- 
generous in his praise of Oglethorpe's leaders and that he has 
allowed his heroes, Sidney Lanier and John B. Gordon, to bulk 
a little too large in the narrative. On the whole, however, his 
judgments seem just, and his book is commendably brief and 

While this volume might interest Georgians primarily, there 
is a universality about the subject that should broaden its ap- 
peal. For fundamentally the Oglethorpe story is the story of the 
typical church-related, classical college of the nineteenth century. 
College Life at Old Oglethorpe includes sixteen interesting illus- 
trations, nine useful appendices, and a full bibliography and 
index. The printing, binding, and jacket are attractive. Those 
few errors noted by this reviewer are trifling. Although Ogle- 
thorpe University was revived in 1913 and functions at the 
present day, Mr. Tankersley has wisely limited his study to 
"Old Oglethorpe." 

Stuart Noblin. 

North Carolina State College, 


130 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Friend of the People: The Life of Dr. Peter Fayssoux of Charleston, South 
Carolina. By Chalmers G. Davidson. (Columbia: The Medical Associa- 
tion of South Carolina. 1950. Pp. vii, 151. $2.75.) 

Unlike their English and Scottish coreligionists, the French 
Calvinists who came to South Carolina were more than ordinarily 
successful in acquiring wealth and were interested in cultivating 
manners and amenities as soon as they were able to afford such 
luxuries, the result being that in less than a generation many 
of these emigres had entered the ranks of the local aristocracy. 
This process is well illustrated in the career of Daniel Fayssoux, 
baker, who arrived in South Carolina about 1737 and, more 
particularly, in that of his son Peter (1745-1795), whose life 
is here described by Dr. Davidson. 

With advantages derived from the estate left by his father 
and through a fortunate second marriage of his mother, Peter 
Fayssoux secured a good education in Charleston and went to 
Edinburgh for medical training. Here he made the acquaintance 
of Benjamin Rush, thus beginning a friendship which lasted 
for the rest of Fayssoux's life and was the occasion for the 
greater portion of his correspondence that has been preserved. 
Returning to Charleston, Fayssoux practiced his profession, 
participated in the city's social and cultural activities, and mar- 
ried, successively, into two wealthy planter families. During the 
Revolution he served first as "senior physician" and later as 
physician and surgeon-general in the South Carolina medical 
service; and, after the creation of the Southern Department in 
March, 1781, as "chief physician of the hospital." 

Following the war he resumed practice in Charleston, rising 
by the early 1790's to what Dr. Davidson describes as "easily 
the most outstanding medical figure in the state." Among his 
interests was the promotion of a charity drugstore, a sort of 
eighteenth century substitute for socialized medicine, where the 
poor could be supplied with medicines free of charge. His activi- 
ties also included rice planting and politics. Having gone through 
the Revolution as an "irreconcilable" patriot, he found it easy 
to secure election to the state legislature, to the state convention 
on the adoption of the Federal Constitution, and the Constitu- 
tional Convention of 1790 ; but his anti-Federalism ran counter 
to the dominant trend in South Carolina during this period and 

Book Reviews 131 

stranded him as the advocate of a lost cause. His last days were 
saddened by the illness of two of his daughters, apparently a 
leprous affliction contracted from an African slave on one of the 
plantations, which all the medical skill of Philadelphia, Balti- 
more, and Charleston was unable to arrest. 

From such sources as are available Dr. Davidson has traced 
the outlines of Peter Fayssoux's life. The materials relating 
directly to the subject appear to be too meager to facilitate the 
compilation of a lengthy biography, with the result that, even 
in this brief treatment, the author is occasionally forced to 
supplement his narrative with descriptions of the times. More- 
over, it cannot be said that a longer account of Fayssoux's life 
is necessary; he dabbled in too many things to achieve an en- 
during reputation in any one sphere of activity. This small 
volume therefore presents all the information that is likely to 
be forthcoming, and all that is needed, with regard to the career 
of a fairly inconsequential South Carolinian living in an 
eighteenth century lowcountry environment. 

James W. Patton. 

The University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill. 

A History of the Hemp Industry in Kentucky. By James F. Hopkins. (Lex- 
ington: University of Kentucky Press. 1951. Pp. xii, 240. Map, illustra- 
tions. $4.00.) 

So attractive to American writers has agricultural history 
proved to be that hardly any major product of our soil has 
escaped systematic study. One that somehow did was hemp, 
the fibrous plant used principally in making bagging and 
cordage. Now James F. Hopkins, associate professor of history 
at the University of Kentucky, fills that gap with a creditable 

Because Kentucky was far and away the leading producer 
during the heyday of hemp — that is, from the late eighteenth 
century to the Civil War — Professor Hopkins concentrates his 
attention upon that state. In a few introductory pages he notes 
the several efforts made by England to encourage hemp-growing 
in the American colonies. Then he launches into the story of the 

132 The North Carolina Historical Review 

plant in Kentucky, carefully detailing the subjects indicated by 
his six chapter headings : "The Hemp Farm," "Management and 
Sale of the Crop," "Prices and Production to 1861," "Manu- 
facturing to 1861," "Production of Hemp for Marine Use," and 
"The Decline of the Industry." 

Some of Kentucky's earliest settlers raised the fiber for the 
home manufacture of cloth and cordage. Early in the nineteenth 
century, accompanying the boom in cotton that followed Eli 
Whitney's famous invention, hemp, fashioned into bale rope and 
bagging, found a generally profitable market in the Deep South. 
Hemp thus became the cash crop of Bluegrass farmers and in- 
spired the building of "ropewalks" (manufacturing establish- 
ments) at Lexington, Frankfort, Louisville, and other points. 
Both the hemp farm and the hemp factory relied heavily upon 
slave labor. Kentuckians long hoped that the United States Navy 
would see fit to supply its cordage needs from their staple ex- 
clusively, and that Congress would enact suitable protective 
tariffs. The clear superiority of imported Russian hemp, how- 
ever, dashed these hopes. The advent of the steamship, which 
required less rigging than the sailing ship; the onset of the 
Civil War, which ruined the southern market; the competition 
of Manila abaca and wire rope ; the substitution of wood, metal, 
and especially jute in the bagging of cotton — these soon rele- 
gated the hemp industry to minor status, and today its impor- 
tance is negligible. 

Professor Hopkins has made excellent use of a wide variety 
of materials, with emphasis on manuscripts, government docu- 
ments, and newspapers, as his footnotes and bibliography 
show. He writes soberly and precisely. Within the self-imposed 
limits of his study he has been painstaking and thorough. Yet 
this reviewer feels that the author need not have confined his 
investigation so rigidly to Kentucky; if not a history of the 
hemp industry in the United States, then at least a sampling 
of sources in Missouri, the second ranking state, for purposes 
of comparison. The volume contains a useful map of Kentucky 
and nine interesting photographs. The index seems adequate, 
though one might question the inclusion of the name entries 
"C. B. C," "W. M. T." (semi-anonymous writers), George, 
Jack, Roy, Sullivan, Tom, and Umphry (Negro slaves; Henry, 

Book Reviews 133 

mentioned on page 135, was apparently overlooked) and the 
omission of such subject entries as agricultural (or farm) or- 
ganizations, rigging, and rope. 

This book is a valuable piece in the mosaic of American 
agricultural history. 

Stuart Noblin. 

North Carolina State College, 

The History of Randolph-Macon Woman's College: From the Founding in 
1891 Through the Year 1949-1950. By Roberta D. Cornelius. (Chapel 
Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1951. Pp. xviii, 428. $6.00.) 

From the attractive cover jacket to the forty pages of illustra- 
tions at the end of the volume, one is impressed with the growth, 
vitality, and educational leadership of The Randolph-Macon 
Woman's College and the scholarship and devotion to the school 
of its author as these are revealed in this excellent history. 
Written largely around the administration of its four presidents, 
the book is replete with details of college education and the life 
of young women in Lynchburg, Virginia, during the past sixty 

In a brief foreword, President Theodore H. Jack states that 
this book is "primarily a project of the Alumnae Association 
and is essentially a contribution of the alumnae to the college. ,, 
Although written by an alumna who has served the college as 
an instructor and professor of English since 1915, it is not a 
pean of praise ; rather it is a careful and well documented study 
of a nationally accredited institution which has pioneered in 
the field of higher education for women in the South. 

Beginning with a discussion of the Randolph-Macon Board 
of Trustees which has sponsored a college for men in Virginia 
since 1830, and after setting forth the interest and determination 
of the Virginia Conference of the Methodist Church to foster 
Christian education through a system of colleges and academies, 
the author presents a detailed account of the labors of the 
founder-president, William Waugh Smith, in establishing a 
quality college for women comparable with the best institutions 

134 The North Carolina Historical Review 

for men. The attainment and perpetuation of that concept con- 
stitute the main theme of succeeding chapters. 

Financial problems, buildings, courses of study, and a variety 
of student activities are intertwined with the personalities of a 
strong group of administrators and teachers. Among these are 
Presidents William A. Webb, Dice R. Anderson, Theodore H. 
Jack, Acting President and Dean N. A. Pattillo, Dean C. Clement 
French, Dean Gille Larew, Dean Almeda Garland, Treasurer 
Robert Winfree, Dr. Alexander W. Terrell, and Professors 
Fernando W. Martin, Herbert C. Lipscomb, Louise Jordan 
Smith, William S. Adams, Joseph L. Armstrong, Thomas M. 
Campbell, Meta Glass, John H. Latane, Thomas W. Page, James 
F. Peake, Mary L. Sherrill, Mabel Whiteside, and others. 

The relations of the college with the Methodist Church, the 
Carnegie Corporation, the General Education Board, the Presser 
Foundation, the American Association of University Women, 
and other agencies are carefully noted. Emphasis upon the 
liberal arts, the admission of the college to Phi Beta Kappa in 
1916 after an existence of only twenty-three years, and the 
achievements of some of the more distinguished of 9,700 
alumnae complete the text of this interesting and significant 

Notes and bibliographical references are grouped under 
chapter headings in the back of the book and fill forty-six pages. 
The index of twenty-five pages, containing cross references and 
subentries, is most helpful. One could wish space would have 
permitted the author to give more emphasis to the low legal and 
educational status of American women when the college was 
founded, and to contemporary movements for the higher educa- 
tion of women in other states. 

Professor Cornelius and the University of North Carolina 

Press are to be congratulated on a lasting contribution to the 

history of higher education in the South and the role of educated 

women in the world of today. 

David A. Lockmiller. 

The University of Chattanooga, 
Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

Book Reviews 135 

Revolt of the Rednecks: Mississippi Politics, 1876-1925. By Albert D. 
Kirwan. Lexington: University of Kentucky Press. 1951. Pp. x, 328. $4.50.) 

This is a scholarly and penetrating examination of the po- 
litical history of Mississippi from the close of Reconstruction 
to the end of the Vardaman era in 1925, the story of those long 
years when the central theme of Mississippi politics was the 
never-ending struggle between economic groups, constantly in- 
terspersed with ambitious attempts of worthy and unworthy 
men for political leadership and control. 

The struggle for the control of Mississippi democracy began 
in 1876 when Radical Governor Adelbert Ames resigned while 
undergoing impeachment trial, a home-rule victory actually 
achieved when the George-Lamar revolution was brought to 
successful fruition. The post-Civil War agricultural depression 
and the seemingly prosperous condition of the state's corporate 
and banking interest caused constant rumblings of discontent 
from the small farmer class, which soon began its struggle to 
gain control of the Democratic party in order to effect reforms. 
Discounting as much as possible the discrediting of the old pre- 
Civil War leaders and the bitter radical antipathy which was 
the heritage of Radical Reconstruction, this group battled the 
"cheap politicians" who controlled the state's political machinery. 
It almost captured the constitutional convention of 1890, and 
finally won victory when Vardaman was elected to the governor- 
ship in 1903. Then began a two-decade control of the state 
during which the voices of the people, led by Vardaman and 
Bilbo, must be credited with awakening the Democratic party 
to a new sense of social responsibility. 

The volume is a real achievement in the writing of state 
political history. It is solidly founded upon a broad foundation 
of unpublished and published source material, aptly explained 
in a "Critical Essay on Authorities" at the end of the book. The 
author surveys the entire period with balanced perspective and 
is outspoken when the occasion demands it. Of added signifi- 
cance, it must be emphasized that the author has that rare 
ability to handle masses of detailed material and to integrate 
a multitude of minutiae as well as important material into a 

136 The North Carolina Historical Review 

well-balanced finished product. His work has been complimented 
by the publishers, who have done an excellent job of bookmaking. 

Edwin Adams Davis. 

Louisiana State University, 
Baton Rouge. 

College Life in the Old South. By E. Merton Coulter. (Athens: The Univer- 
sity of Georgia Press. 1951. Pp. xiii, 320. $4.50.) 

This book, copyrighted in 1951 by its author, is the second 
edition of the well-known work first published by the Macmillan 
Company in 1928. Since changes were made only to clarify 
ambiguities or correct errors, the narrative differs little in the 
two editions. The new edition, which appeared as a part of the 
Sesquicentennial Celebration of the University of Georgia, em- 
ploys a larger page, includes drawings, and relegates all footnotes 
to the back. 

College Life in the Old South is essentially a history of the 
University of Georgia, commonly known in ante-bellum times as 
Franklin College, from the date of its charter, 1785 (the first 
classes met in 1801), until 1870. In addition to an intimate 
picture of life at the Athens institution there are comparisons 
with activities in other universities. Student life, literary so- 
cieties, student-faculty relations, commencements, and life in a 
college town were much the same throughout the State. Meager 
financial support from the legislature and rivalry among re- 
ligious denominations for control of faculty positions had their 
parallels in other states. Forced to close its doors in 1863, the 
University reopened in 1866 and within five years many of its 
present-day characteristics had taken form. The University, 
now grown into six schools, saw commencements decline in 
significance and interest in the literary societies become dissi- 
pated into new fields of fraternities and athletics. 

Professor Coulter's thorough knowledge of Georgia history 
is reflected in the skill with which he weaves the history of 
the University into the general pattern of the state's develop- 
ment. The remarkably complete manuscript records of Franklin 
College, especially the minutes of student organizations and the 
faculty, enable the author to present a wealth of detailed infor- 
mation not available elsewhere. The difficult task of organizing 

Book Reviews 137 

this material has been handled well by combining the topical 

and chronological approaches. Additional light might have been 

thrown on relations between the University and the religious 

denominations by consulting periodicals published by the 

Georgia churches. 

Free of typographical errors and attractive in format, this 

book is a credit to both its author and the University Press. 

It will be welcomed not only by Georgia alumni but by students 

and general readers of southern history as well. 

Henry S. Stroupe. 

Wake Forest College, 
Wake Forest. 

Economic Resources and Policies of the South. By Calvin B. Hoover and 
B. U. Ratchford. (New York: The Macmillan Company. 1951. Pp. xxvii, 
464. $5.50.) 

This book brings together in one place the facts concerning 
the productive resources of the South, from Virginia and Ken- 
tucky in the north to Oklahoma and Texas in the southwest. 
Most of these facts are presented in statistical tables, of which 
there are no less than ninety-six in the four hundred and odd 
pages. The subjects of the various tables vary from "Land Area" 
and "Birth Rates" to "Votes of Southern Congressmen on 
Tariff Bills." A large part of the text consists of discussion of 
the facts contained in the statistical tables. The book therefore 
does not make easy reading. Its excellence as an encyclopedic 
source is, however, very great. One should read it and then keep 
it at hand for reference. 

There are seventeen chapters in the book. Beginning with the 
physical and the human resources of the South, the authors 
devote separate chapters to each of the major industries or agri- 
cultural crops of the region and conclude with chapters on policy 
with respect to labor and international trade. 

The authors have done much more than collect information 
about the South; they have interpreted it and brought it to 
bear upon the problem of lifting the income of the region. This 
they call the central theme of the study. They find that the South 
is not overwhelmingly rich in resources as some enthusiasts 
assert, but that the South does have resources that could produce 
a much higher level of income. The policies that are suggested 

138 The North Carolina Historical Review 

to achieve this are sane and intelligent, reflecting the sound 
learning of the authors. Heavy reliance is placed upon better 
education and more industry as means, but neither is presented 
as an open sesame to great wealth. Indeed, it is one of the 
merits of this book that it does not reduce the economic problem 
of the South to simple terms. 

A number of the chapters have helpful summaries at the end. 
There is a good index and a bibliography that covers thirteen 

C. K. Brown. 

Davidson College, 

Liberty and Property. By R. V. Coleman. (New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons. 1951. Pp. xiii, 606. $5.00.) 

This is a scholarly, carefully balanced, well documented, and 
beautifully written account of the growth and expansion of the 
continental colonies — English, Spanish, and French — and of 
their political, economic, social, and cultural development from 
1664 to 1765. In The First Frontier, published three years ago, 
Mr. Coleman "followed the adventures, hopes, failures and 
successes of the early English settlers in America." The reviewer 
thinks that Liberty and Property is an improvement over the 
earlier volume and hopes that the author will eventually bring 
the story down to the American Revolution. 

In this volume the reader is presented with a lively account 
of the founding of new colonies — the English consolidating their 
gains in the New York-New Jersey area; the expansion of 
population from Barbados, Virginia, and other places into Caro- 
lina ; William Penn and the Quakers developing a "Holy Experi- 
ment" in Pennsylvania; Oglethorpe and other philanthropists 
establishing the colony of Georgia; English colonies competing 
with the French and Spanish for mastery of the Florida- 
Louisiana region. He is presented with excellent descriptions 
of the commercial aristocracy of the northern and middle 
colonies and of the planter aristocracy of the South ; the troubles 
arising from low prices and high taxes, as illustrated in Bacon's 
Rebellion and other uprisings; the activities of whites and 
Indians along the trading paths; the wonders of the "visible 

Book Reviews 139 

and the invisible world" ; the problems arising from overlapping 
land patents and general confusion in land policy; the rise, 
spread, and suppression of piracy; the immigration of Scotch- 
Irish, Germans, and other non-English groups; the trade in 
"skins and slaves"; pen portraits of "able men" and their fine 
homes; the common people and their mode of life; and, finally, 
the story of the hitherto individualistic colonies banding togeth- 
er against the mother country under the watchword of "Liberty 
and Property." 

Mr. Coleman has captured the spirit of the century about 
which he writes and he brings out the full flavor of this signifi- 
cant but somewhat neglected era of our history. He has made ex- 
cellent use of a variety of sources, notably travel accounts and 
other contemporary writings. His accounts of William Byrd II, 
William Penn, Increase Mather, La Salle, and other major 
figures are splendid, but he has not overlooked scores of sig- 
nificant but less well-known men — Dr. Henry Woodward, Tonti, 
"Old Zach" Gilliam, Rev. William Vesey, Lewis Morris, Caleb 
Heathcote, and scores of others. In fact, the volume has some- 
thing of a biographical tone which adds to its interest and 

Twenty-eight full-page maps, sixty-two fine illustrations 
based on original paintings and engravings, and an adequate 
index round out this excellent book. 

Hugh T. Lefler. 

The University of North Carolina, 

Chapel Hill. 

Education in the United States. Third Revised Edition. By Edgar W. 
Knight. (Boston: Ginn and Company. 1951. Pp. xvi, 753, $4.50.) 

The well-known historical work on American education by 
Professor Knight of the University of North Carolina, originally 
published in 1929, appears in a third revised edition, with subject 
matter brought up to date and lucidly presented, and with 
abundant teaching aids. The distinctive feature which marked 
the first edition of Knight's work was the comprehensiveness 
of its treatment of the development of education in the South. 
This orientation has been preserved. 

140 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The plan of the book, which deals primarily with public edu- 
cation, will be familiar to users of the previous editions. After 
an introductory chapter epitomizing present conditions, the work 
traces the rise of the publicly supported and controlled elemen- 
tary school and of state and local agencies of control, with 
emphasis upon the influence in furthering the educational 
awakening of reports on European conditions by Archibald D. 
Murphey, Cousin, Stowe, Bache, Henry Barnard, and Mann, and 
the endeavors of such advocates of public education as Carter, 
Mann, Barnard, Mills, Lewis, Galloway, Pierce, Breckinridge, 
Edwards, and Calvin H. Wiley, North Carolina's first super- 
intendent of schools. The growth of secondary and higher edu- 
cation, including teacher-training, is also recounted. A chapter 
is devoted to the emergence of the South from the post-Recon- 
struction educational destitution to which Walter H. Page di- 
rected attention in 1897, in his address on "The Forgotten Man." 
Another summarizes progress following the Civil War and traces 
the influence of Pestalozzi, Herbart, Froebel, Hall, James, Dewey, 
E. L. Thorndike, and others. A discussion of the depression 
period and of trends and issues after 1930 is followed by the 
twentieth and final chapter, entitled "The Roaring Forties," 
which presents a wealth of material on wartime and postwar 
educational activities. 

While, as is inevitable in a treatise of such scope, the reader 
will sometimes dissent from the author's judgment and per- 
spective, it is unquestionable that Knight has produced a most 
valuable work for students of American educational and cultural 
history. Scarcely less will be its usefulness to general readers 
who, as parents or civic leaders, have a vital interest in the 
history and problems of American education. 

Elbert Vaughan Wills. 


The United States, 1830-1850: The Nation and Its Sections. By Frederick 
Jackson Turner. (Reprint. New York: Peter Smith. 1950. Pp. xiv, 602. 

With the reprinting of this important work Peter Smith adds 
one more to the growing list of titles that the publisher is 
rescuing from that dismal epitaph, "out of print." The Smith 

Book Reviews 141 

reprints, many of them reproduced by the highly satisfactory 
micro-offset process, now include scores of the most important 
volumes in the library of American history. A few titles will 
suggest the contribution that this publishing venture is making 
to historical scholarship ; for what would a library of Americana 
be without Becker's Declaration of Independence, Jameson's 
American Revolution Considered as a Social Movement, the ag- 
ricultural histories of Gray and Bidwell and Falconer, Clark's 
History of Manufactures, Hibbard's Public Land Policies, Riley's 
American Thought, Van Tyne's Loyalists, Fite's Social and In- 
dustrial Conditions, Pratt's Expansionists of 1812, Turner's 
Significance of Sections, Fleming's Documentary History of Re- 
construction, Wissler's American Indian, to mention only a few? 

Measured against his gifts, Frederick Jackson Turner wrote 
few books. Indeed, as Avery Craven pointed out in his percep- 
tive introduction to this volume, "his eager mind was bent on 
exploration. ... He disliked to find his researches halted and 
his ideas crystalized by publication. . . . Until all the evidence 
was in, the time had not come for the last word." The United 
States, 1830-1850 is both the beneficiary and the victim of that 
quality. Fifteen painstaking years in the making, the book was 
never completed. The last chapter is wholly missing and much 
of what does appear is a first or second draft that still awaited 
revision or polishing, a task which the author's untimely death 
(March 14, 1932) prevented. The historical craft is forever in 
debt to Merrill H. Crissey, Max Farrand, and Avery Craven 
for putting the manuscript in final form for publication; un- 
finished though it was, the book remains a rich addition to 
the literature of the American record. 

This is the mature Turner, grown cautious with the years, 
still in search of hypotheses but subjecting them to increasingly 
rigorous tests. Four decades had passed since the young Turner 
advanced his persuasive thesis that the unique American ex- 
perience was to be explained in terms of a receding frontier. 
In this last of his books the critic looks in vain for oversimplifi- 
cations. But there is the same old concern for isolating the life 
principles, delineating the natural history, describing and ac- 
counting for the interpenetrations of environments, politics, and 
social institutions. 

142 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Something over half the book is devoted to the several sec- 
tions, a chapter for each: New England, the Middle Atlantic 
States, the South Atlantic States, the South Central States, the 
North Central States, Texas, and the Far West. Each of these 
is a sharply etched profile in itself, supported by skillfully dis- 
ciplined detail drawn from the geography, ethnology, politics 
and economic forces, the social and intellectual life of the era 
and area he describes. Then follows a brilliant study, heavily 
documented, of the interplay of the sectional forces — at once 
divisive, coalescent, and reciprocal — in the national context. 
Perhaps the emphasis on political and economic factors occa- 
sionally crowds out an adequate treatment of social and cultural 

To the scholar the volume is as stimulating and delightful to 
read as it was when it first appeared sixteen years ago, despite 
the efforts of irreverent young doctors of philosophy always 
quick to "revise" or to take their elders to task for neglecting 
their own youthful specialties. And for that happy mortal, the 
general reader who reads American history for pleasure and 
instruction, it is a healthful corrective to the folklore that the 
decades from 1830 to 1860 were wholly given over to the Great 
Debate and to preparations for a romantic Civil War. For any- 
one who wishes to understand the sections and to perceive the 
relationships of the sections with each other and with the nation 
in the fateful and fruitful epoch of 1830-1850 (for anyone who 
wishes to understand American History, that is to say) this 
book is indispensable. It seems unlikely that it will ever be quite 

There is no bibliography, though the copious footnotes, it has 
been pointed out, are little bibliographies in themselves. There 
are a number of useful maps and charts, the index is adequate, 
and the few typographical slips that appeared in the original 
edition naturally persist in this one since it was not made from 
new plates. The print is admirably sharp and clear. 

Richard Bardolph. 

The Woman's College of the 

University of North Carolina, 


Book Reviews 143 

Federal Records of World War II. National Archives Publications Nos. 
51-7 & 8. (Washington: United States Printing Office. 1950-51. 2 vols. 
Pp. I: xii, 1073. II: iii, 1061. $2.50 each.) 

In 1946 President Truman wrote to the Archivist of the 
United States that he " would like to see prepared and published 
such guides as will make the pertinent materials known and 
usable." The Federal Records of World War II, in a general way, 
fulfills the President's request since it is a convenient digest of 
the records of every agency of the United States government 
which played a part in the conduct of the war (1939-1945). 
This represents the labor and contributions of many people. 
Much credit is due to Dr. Philip M. Hamer for his skillful editing 
and over-all direction of the compilation of these volumes. 

This digest or general guide may well be compared to the card 
catalog of a library. It leads the searcher to the materials and 
does not try to describe them except as to type. Volume I, 
"Civilian Agencies," is divided into seven parts: (1) The 
Legislative Branch; (2) The Judicial Branch; (3) The Executive 
Office of the President ; (4) Emergency Agencies ; (5) Executive 
Departments; (6) Other United States Agencies; (7) Inter- 
national Agencies. Volume II, "Military Agencies," contains: 
(1) Interallied and Interservice Military Agencies; (2) The 
War Department and the Army; (3) The Naval Establishment; 
(4) Theaters of Operation. For each agency listed under these 
broad headings there is a sketch of its wartime duties and activi- 
ties; a description of its records as to type, location, custody, 
and volume (in cubic feet) ; and pertinent bibliographical 

It is obvious that special care was taken in the compilation 
of the index. It is more detailed than those of previous "guides" 
prepared by the National Archives, especially in its cross refer- 
ences. For example, listed under "leather and hides" are twenty- 
two entries which cover every aspect of procurement, production, 
importation, prices, research, and military use of these com- 

E. G. Roberts. 

Duke University Library, 



The department of history at Duke University announces 
the following promotions: Irving B. Holley to assistant profes- 
sor; Arthur B. Ferguson, Harold T. Parker, and Richard L. 
Watson, Jr., to associate professor ; and John S. Curtiss to pro- 
fessor. Dr. Curtiss spent the past summer researching in Russian 
History in the Hoover Library, Stanford, California. 

Dr. Alan K. Manchester, professor of history and dean of 
undergraduate studies at Duke University, is in Brazil on a 
one-year appointment as cultural attache to the United States 
Embassy there. 

Dr. E. Malcolm Carroll was principally responsible for the 
third volume of the German Foreign Office Archives: Docu- 
ments on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, from the Archives 
of the German Foreign Ministry. Series D. (1937-1943) Ger- 
many and the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. The volume was 
issued by the State Department and His Majesty's Stationery 
Office, London. 

Publications or prospective publications by other members 
of the Duke University history department include Joel G. 
Colton, Compulsory Labor Arbitration in France, 1936-1939 
(New York: King's Crown Press, Columbia University, 1951) ; 
W. T. Laprade, "Scholarship, Hysteria and Freedom," in New 
Republic, October 29, 1951; William B. Hamilton, Fifty Years 
of the South Atlantic Quarterly (to be published in January, 
1952, by the Duke University Press) ; Robert H. Woody edited, 
with a biographical appraisal, The Papers and Addresses of 
William Preston Few, Late President of Duke University, which 
was published by the Duke University Press in December. 

Dr. Richard C. Todd of East Carolina College has received 
the Mrs. Simon Baruch University Prize, offered biennially by 
the United Daughters of the Confederacy for the best unpub- 
lished manuscript in the field of southern history. Professor Todd 
submitted in this competition his dissertation prepared at Duke 
University, "A History of Confederate Finance." He also pre- 
sented a paper, "Confederate Finance," at the annual meeting 


Historical News 145 

of the Southern Historical Association at Montgomery, Novem- 
ber 8-10, 1951. 

Dr. Loren C. MacKinney of the University of North Carolina 
is a member of the American Historical Association committee on 
documentary reproduction and chairman of the committee 
on microfilming in Italy. He is the author of several articles 
on mediaeval medicine which have appeared or are to appear 
in the near future in various journals. 

The fifth Harriet Elliott Social Science Forum was held at 
the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina, 
Greensboro, November 15, 16, and 17. The forum subject was 
"The Meeting of East and West in China" and Hu Shih, Derk 
Bodde, Harold Isaacs, and Vera Micheles Dean were guest 

On September 27 a highway marker was unveiled at Rich 
Square for the birthplace of Colonel George V. Holloman, in- 
ventor of many significant devices for airplanes. Dr. Christopher 
Crittenden of the State Department of Archives and History, 
Raleigh, and Mr. J. E. Hunter of the State Board of Education 
delivered addresses. 

Mr. William S. Powell of the Department of Archives and 
History attended the formal opening and dedication of the 
Rowan Public Library in Salisbury on October 4. The building 
is dedicated to the memory of Francis Burton Craige, a native 
of Rowan County. 

Mr. W. Frank Burton and Dr. Christopher Crittenden of the 
Department of Archives and History attended a meeting of the 
North Carolina Society of Tax Supervisors at the Institute of 
Government in Chapel Hill on October 9. Mr. Burton made the 
principal address of the occasion and Dr. Crittenden also ad- 
dressed the group briefly. 

The Society of American Archivists held its fifteenth annual 
meeting in Annapolis, Maryland, October 15 and 16. North 

146 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Carolinians attending this meeting were: Dr. James W. Patton 
of Chapel Hill, Dr. T. H. Spence of Montreat, and Mr. D. L. 
Corbitt, Mr. W. Frank Burton, and Dr. Christopher Crittenden 
of the Department of Archives and History. Dr. Crittenden 
gave the "Report of the Long Range Planning Committee ,, and 
Mr. Burton spoke on "A Tar Heel Archivist and His Problems." 

On October 12 at the convention of the North Carolina 
Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Winston- 
Salem, the following new officers were elected: Mrs. E. R. 
McKethan of Fayetteville and Mrs. W. D. Pollock of Kinston, 
honorary presidents ; Mrs. William Dickens of Enfield, first vice- 
president; Mrs. A. R. Wilson of Durham, third vice-president; 
and Mrs. A. W. Hoffman of Raleigh, historian. Re-elected officers 
were : Mrs. Henry L. Stevens, Jr., Warsaw, president ; Mrs. Dan 
Croom, Winston-Salem, recording secretary; Mrs. Litchfield B. 
Huie, Warsaw, corresponding secretary; Mrs. Paul Fitzgerald, 
Pelham, treasurer ; Miss Jeannette Biggs, Fayetteville, registrar ; 
and Mrs. C. H. Bass, High Point, recorder of crosses. 

On November 8 Mrs. Glenn Long of Newton was elected 
president-general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy 
at its fifty-eighth national convention, held in Asheville. Mrs. 
Long was installed in office on November 9. 

The Bertie County Historical Association held its fall meeting 
in Windsor on October 19. A portrait of John Watson, pioneer 
leader of the county, was presented to the association and re- 
search papers were read as follows: "Old Homes of Woodville" 
by Miss Stella Phelps; "The William King House" by Mrs. John 
Parker ; and "The Indian Gallows" by Mrs. E. S. Askew. Milton 
F. Perry of the staff of Colonial Williamsburg, Inc., a native 
of Bertie and a charter member of the association, outlined a 
plan for the publication of a quarterly bulletin. 

The North Carolina Society of County and Local Historians, 
on Sunday, October 21, toured Montgomery and northwestern 
Richmond counties, with Colonel and Mrs. Jeffrey F. Stanback 
as hosts. The historians visited the Yankee Graveyard near 
Mount Gilead ; "The Widow's Purchase," home of Col. and Mrs. 

Historical News 


Stanback; "Carlisle," built by Colonel B. F. Little; "Powellton," 
built by Pleasant M. Powell about 1842 ; Pekin village ; and the 
Edmund DeBerry home (now "Pheasant Farm"). Following the 
tour the historians attended the unveiling of a new highway 
marker for Edmund DeBerry, congressman from Montgomery 
County, 1828-1855. 

The Historical Society of North Carolina held its fall meeting 
at Wake Forest on October 19. Dr. Fletcher M. Green of the 
University of North Carolina was elected president for 1952. 
Other officers for 1952 are : Mr. Aubrey Lee Brooks, Greensboro, 
vice-president ; Dr. Frontis W. Johnston, Davidson College, secre- 
tary-treasurer ; and Mr. D. L. Corbitt, Department of Archives 
and History, program chairman. As the highlight of the evening 
meeting, Dr. C. C. Pearson of Wake Forest College, retiring 
president, spoke on "Why Can't You and I Let People Go to 
Hell in Their Own Way: A Virginia Historical Study." Dr. 
Charles S. Sydnor of Duke University spoke at the dinner 
meeting on the subject, "The Study of American History at 

At the afternoon session Dr. Stuart Noblin of State College 
presented a paper, "Leonidas L. Polk, A Summary View" ; Dean 
Cecil K. Brown of Davidson College read a paper, "The Develop- 
ment of Transport and Trade in North Carolina During the 
Last Half-Century"; and Dr. Hugh T. Lefler of the University 
of North Carolina presented an obituary of the late Albert Ray 

On October 25 Dr. Christopher Crittenden addressed the 
Trinity College Historical Society of Duke University on the 
subject, "Preserving Tar Heel Historical Manuscripts." 

The Eastern States Archaeological Federation held its annual 
session in Chapel Hill, October 26 and 27. Dr. R. B. House of 
the University of North Carolina and Dr. Christopher Crittenden 
extended greetings, and Dr. Joffre L. Coe of the University and 
Mr. Ernest Lewis, superintendent of Town Creek State Park 
(Montgomery County), read papers. 

148 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The North Carolina Archaeological Society met in Chapel 
Hill on October 29. Dr. Joffre L. Coe of the University of North 
Carolina was elected president, succeeding Dr. Christopher Crit- 
tenden, and Mr. Harry T. Davis of the State Museum, Raleigh, 
was re-elected secretary-treasurer. 

The Southern Historical Association held its seventeenth 
annual meeting in Montgomery, Alabama, November 8-10. 
North Carolinians appearing on the program included Dr. Hugh 
T. Lefler of the University of North Carolina; Dr. Elisha P. 
Douglass of Elon College ; Dr. Christopher Crittenden ; Dr. Har- 
old Parker, Duke University ; Dr. Paul H. Clyde, Duke Universi- 
ty ; Dr. Harold A. Bierck, Jr., University of North Carolina ; Dr. 
Richard C. Todd, East Carolina College; and Dr. Wilfred B. 
Yearns, Wake Forest College. Other North Carolinians who 
attended were as follows: Mr. W. F. Burton and Mr. D. L. 
Corbitt; Dr. Fletcher M. Green, University of North Carolina; 
Mr. William S. Powell; and Dr. J. Carlyle Sitterson, University 
of North Carolina. Dr. Sitterson, who was to complete in De- 
cember three years as secretary-treasurer of the association, 
was elected to the executive council for a three-year term be- 
ginning in January, 1952. 

Civic leaders of Boone and Western North Carolina have 
organized the Southern Appalachian Historical Association to 
perpetuate the historical culture of mountain people of that 
section. Meeting early in November, the group elected the fol- 
lowing officers: Dr. I. G. Greer of Chapel Hill, president; Dr. 
D. J. Whitener of Appalachian State Teachers College, Boone, 
vice-president; Mrs. B. W. Stallings of Boone, corresponding 
secretary ; Mrs. Leo K. Pritchett of Boone, recording secretary ; 
and Mr. James Marsh of Boone, treasurer. Plans are being made 
for producing a drama, possibly centering about Daniel Boone. 

A week-long celebration of Jackson County's centennial was 
climaxed by a parade and contests held in Sylva on September 8. 
A capsule two feet in diameter and six feet in length, containing 
documents, pictures, and other information on the history of 
the county, was buried on the courthouse lawn. 

Historical News 149 

Elizabeth City celebrated its sesquicentennial the week of 
November 18-24. A parade and candle-lighting ceremony were 
held on November 19, and Senator Willis Smith and Mr. Robert 
Welch of Cambridge, Massachusetts, former residents, were 
speakers at a banquet session on November 21. 

The Rutherford County Historical Society held a meeting in 
Rutherfordton on December 4, and the following officers were 
elected for 1952 : Mr. Clarence Griffin of Forest City, president ; 
Professor J. J. Tarlton of Rutherfordton, vice-president; Mr. 
Orland M. York of Rutherfordton, secretary; and Mr. J. Worth 
Morgan of Forest City, treasurer. Those elected directors were : 
Mr. Herbert Crenshaw, Spindale ; Mr. F. I. Barber, Forest City ; 
Mr. S. C. Elmore, Spindale; and Mr. R. E. Price, Rutherfordton. 
Plans were made for the publication of a 300-page memorial 
volume to the dead of Rutherford County in World War II. 
This volume is to include a history of the county from 1937 to 
the present and will carry the names of almost 6,000 Rutherford 
county men who served in the armed forces during the war. 

The Roanoke Island Historical Association held a business 
meeting in Raleigh on December 5. Honorable R. Bruce Eth- 
eridge of Manteo was elected temporary chairman of the asso- 
ciation, succeeding Mr. Bill Sharpe of Raleigh. 

The North Carolina State Art Society conducted its twenty- 
fifth annual session in Raleigh December 5-6. The first day a 
business meeting was held, at which reports were made on art 
activities throughout the state, and at a get-together luncheon 
Mr. Hugo Leipziger-Pearce spoke on "The United States Pro- 
gram of Restitution of the Looted Art Treasures of Europe." 
At the evening meeting awards, gifts, and recognitions were 
made, after which Miss Margarita Salinger, research fellow 
of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, made an illustrated address 
on "The Enjoyment of Art." After this session a reception and 
preview of an exhibition of "Paintings from Three Centuries," 
on loan from the Knoedler Galleries, were held in the State Art 
Gallery. At the business meeting the following officers were 
elected for the ensuing year : president, Mrs. Katherine Pendle- 

150 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ton Arrington of Warrenton; vice-presidents, Mrs. Jacques 
Busbee of Steeds, Mrs. J. H. B. Moore of Greenville, and Mr. 
John Allcott of Chapel Hill; treasurer, Mrs. James H. Cordon, 
Raleigh; and executive secretary, Miss Lucy Cherry Crisp, Ra- 
leigh. Members elected to the executive committee are as follows : 
Mr. Robert Lee Humber, Greenville, chairman; Mr. Jonathan 
Daniels of Raleigh, Dr. Clemens Sommer of Chapel Hill, Dr. 
Clarence Poe of Raleigh, and Mrs. Isabel B. Henderson of Ra- 

The North Carolina Society for the Preservation of Anti- 
quities held its eleventh annual meeting in Raleigh on November 
6. At the morning meeting Mrs. Katherine Pendleton Arrington 
of Warrenton discussed the project for an Elizabethan garden 
adjacent to Fort Raleigh and reports were made on restoration 
and preservation projects. At the luncheon meeting Colonel 
Kermit Hunter of Chapel Hill spoke on our Elizabethan heritage. 
At the evening meeting new life members and the Charles A. 
Cannon awards were presented by Associate Justice Wallace 
Winborne of the State Supreme Court and a program centering 
around historic Beaufort County, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. 
Harry McMullan, included the following: "History of Beaufort 
County," by Mrs. Ford S. Worthy, Washington ; "Early History 
of St. Thomas Church, Bath," by Rt. Rev. Thomas H. Wright, 
Wilmington; "Colonial Bath," a pageant, presented by the 
Washington Little Theatre ; and a benediction by Rev. Alex C. D. 
Noe, Rector, St. Thomas Church, Bath. Following the program 
a reception was held for members and guests. No election of 
officers for the ensuing year was held and the following will 
serve: Mrs. Charles A. Cannon of Concord, president; Mrs. 
Inglis Fletcher of Edenton, vice-president; Mrs. Ernest A. 
Branch of Raleigh, secretary-treasurer. Vice-presidents for the 
congressional districts are: Mr. Aycock Brown of Manteo, Mrs. 
Katherine P. Arrington of Warrenton ; Mrs. Elias Carr of Mac- 
clesfield, Mrs. Charles Lee Smith of Raleigh, Mrs. Edward M. 
Anderson of West Jefferson, Mrs. John A. Kellenberger of 
Greensboro, Mrs. J. Lawrence Sprunt of Wilmington, Mr. 
George H. Maurice of Eagle Springs, Mrs. Henkel Spillman 
of Statesville, Mrs. E. C. Marshall of Charlotte, Mrs. J. D. 

Historical News 151 

Lineberger of Shelby, and Mrs. E. Yates Webb of Shelby. The 
board of directors is composed of the following: Mrs. O. Max 
Gardner of Shelby, Miss Gertrude S. Carraway of New Bern, 
Mrs. James A. Gray of Winston-Salem, Mrs. Lyman A. Cotton 
of Chapel Hill, and Dr. Archibald Henderson of Chapel Hill. 

The North Carolina Society of County Historians held its 
annual session in Raleigh on December 7. Reports were made on 
various phases of local historical activity in the state and the 
following officers were elected: Dr. W. P. Jacocks of Chapel 
Hill, president; Miss Mary Louise Medley of Wadesboro and 
Mr. Charles M. Heck of Raleigh, vice-presidents; and Mr. Leon 
McDonald of Olivia, secretary-treasurer. 

The North Carolina Folklore Society held its fortieth session 
in Raleigh on December 7. Rev. Gilbert R. Combs of Walkertown 
delivered an address entitled "Ballads and Songs of the Appala- 
chian Mountains" and Mr. Marshall Ward of Balm addressed 
the group on "Jack and Heifer Hide." At the business meeting 
the following officers were elected : Mr. Bascom Lamar Lunsf ord 
of Leicester, president; Miss Isabel B. Busbee of Raleigh, first 
vice-president; Dr. I. G. Greer of Chapel Hill, second vice-presi- 
dent; and Dr. Arthur P. Hudson of Chapel Hill, secretary- 
treasurer. Designated to serve on the proposed council to be 
set up by the various cultural societies were: Dr. W. Amos 
Abrams and Dr. Joseph D. Clark, both of Raleigh. 

The State Literary and Historical Association held its fifty- 
first annual session in Raleigh on December 7. At the morning 
meeting Mr. E. Lawrence Lee of Chapel Hill read a paper on 
"Old Brunswick — the Birth and Death of a Colonial Town"; 
Mrs. Frances Gray Patton of Durham delivered an address on 
"How it Feels to be a Writer"; and Dr. Frontis W. Johnston 
of Davidson gave a review of North Carolina works of non- 
fiction of the year. At the subscription dinner Dr. Charles S. 
Sydnor spoke on his experiences last year at Oxford University. 
At the evening meeting Mr. Robert Lee Humber of Greenville 
delivered the presidential address, Dr. Douglas S. Freeman of 
Richmond, Virginia, delivered an address, "Unsolved Mysteries 
in the Life of George Washington," and Judge S. J. Ervin, Jr., 

152 The North Carolina Historical Review 

governor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in North 
Carolina, announced the Mayflower Society award to Jonathan 
Daniels for The Man of Independence, voted the best work of 
non-fiction published during the year by a resident North Caro- 
linian. A reception to members and guests of the association 
followed. At a business meeting Dr. Frontis W. Johnston was 
elected president ; Dr. Alice B. Keith of Raleigh, Mr. J. Lawrence 
Sprunt of Wilmington, and Mr. B. S. Colburn of Biltmore Forest 
were elected vice-presidents; and Dr. Christopher Crittenden 
of Raleigh was re-elected secretary-treasurer. Mrs. John A. 
Kellenberger of Greensboro and Dr. L. L. Carpenter of Raleigh 
were elected to the executive committee. 

On December 10 Mr. William S. Powell, former researcher 
for the Department of Archives and History, became a member 
of the staff of the library of the University of North Carolina. 
For a few months Mr. Powell will continue to make his home in 
Raleigh, commuting to Chapel Hill. 

Books received include : Stella Brewer Brookes, Joel Chandler 
Harris — Folklorist (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 
1950) ; Richard Barksdale Harwell, Songs of the Confederacy 
(New York: Broadcast Music, Inc., 1951) ; Catherine Harrod 
Mason, James Harrod of Kentucky (Baton Rouge: Louisiana 
State University Press, 1951) ; John P. Dyer, The Gallant Hood 
(Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1950) ; Jane Lucas 
de Grummond, Envoy to Caracas: The Story of John G. A. 
Williamson, Nineteenth-Century Diplomat (Baton Rouge : Louisi- 
ana State University Press, 1951) ; J. H. Easterby, The Colonial 
Records of South Carolina — The Journal of the Commons House 
of Assembly, November 10, 1736-June 7, 1739 (Columbia: The 
Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1951) ; Frank G. Speck 
and Leonard Bloom in collaboration with Will West Long, Chero- 
kee Dance and Drama (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of 
California Press, 1951) ; Willard M. Wallace, Appeal to Arms: A 
Military History of the American Revolution (New York: Harp- 
er & Brothers, 1951) ; Kermit Hunter, Unto These Hills (Chapel 
Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1951) ; Frederick Jack- 
son Turner, The United States, 1830-1850: The Nation and Its Sec- 

Historical News 153 

tions (New York : Peter Smith, 1950) ; Mary Ulmer and Samuel E. 
Beck, To Make My Bread: Preparing Cherokee Foods (Cherokee, 
North Carolina: Museum of the Cherokee Indian, 1951) ; They 
Gave Us Freedom: The American Struggles for Life, Liberty and 
the Pursuit of Happiness, as Seen in Portraits, Sculptures, His- 
torical Paintings and Documents of the Period, 1761-1789 (Wil- 
liamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg and the College of 
William and Mary, 1951) ; Clarence Edwin Carter, Territorial 
Papers of the United States, volume XV, Louisiana-Missouri 
Territory, 1815-1821 (Washington: United States Government 
Printing Office, 1951) ; Alexander A. Lawrence, Storm over 
Savannah: The Story of Count d'Estaing and the Siege of the 
Town in 1779 (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1951) ; 
Quentin Oliver McAllister, The Southern Humanities Confer- 
ence: Business Executives and the Humanities (Chapel Hill: The 
University of North Carolina Press, 1951) ; J. 0. Bailey and 
Sturgis E. Leavitt, The Southern Humanities Conference and Its 
Constituent Societies (Chapel Hill: The University of North 
Carolina Press, 1951) ; Daniel Walker Hollis, University of South 
Carolina, volume I, South Carolina College (Columbia: Univer- 
sity of South Carolina Press, 1951) ; James B. McNair, Simon 
Cameron's Adventure in Iron, 1837-1846 (Los Angeles: pub- 
lished by the author, 1950) ; George W. Williams, St. Michael's, 
Charleston, 1751-1951 (Columbia: University of South Carolina 
Press, 1951) ; James Logan Godfrey, Revolutionary Justice: A 
Study of the Organization, Personnel, and Procedure of the Paris 
Tribunal, 1793-1795, The James Sprunt Studies in History and 
Political Science, volume XXXIII (Chapel Hill: University of 
North Carolina Press, 1951) ; John G. Shott, The Railroad Monop- 
oly: An Instrument of Banker Control of the American Economy 
(Washington : Public Affairs Institute, [1951] ) ; Meyer H. Fish- 
bein and Elaine C. Bennett, Preliminary Inventories, no. 32 — 
Records of the Accounting Department of the Office of Price 
Administration (Washington: The National Archives and Rec- 
ords Service, General Services Administration, 1951) ; William 
F. Shonkwiler, Preliminary Inventories, no. 33 — Records of the 
Bureau of Ordnance (Washington: The National Archives and 
Records Service, General Services Administration, 1951) ; Ed- 
ward F. Martin, Preliminary Inventories, no. 34 — Records of the 

154 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Solid Fuels Administration for War (Washington : The National 
Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 
1951) ; Chalmers Gaston Davidson, Piedmont Partisan: The Life 
and Times of Brigadier-General William Lee Davidson (David- 
son, North Carolina: Davidson College, 1951) ; Martin W. Ham- 
ilton, The Papers of Sir William Johnson, volume X (Albany: 
The University of the State of New York, 1951) ; C. Vann 
Woodward, Origins of the Neiv South, 1877-1918 volume IX of 
A History of the South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State Univer- 
sity Press and the Littlefield Fund for Southern History of the 
University of Texas, 1951) ; Helen G. Edmonds, The Negro and 
Fusion Politics in North Carolina, 1894-1901 (Chapel Hill: The 
University of North Carolina Press, 1951) ; Blanche Egerton 
Baker, Mrs. G. I. Joe (Goldsboro; Blanche Egerton Baker, 
1951) ; Joel Francis Paschal, Mr. Justice Sutherland (Princeton, 
New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1951) ; R. V. Cole- 
man, Liberty and Property (New York: Charles Scribner's 
Sons, 1951) ; Gayle Thornbrough and Dorothy Riker, Journals 
of the General Assembly of Indiana Territory, 1805-1815, 
Indiana Historical Collections, volume XXXII (Indianapolis: 
Indiana Historical Bureau, 1950) ; David Duncan Wallace, 
History of Wofford College 185U-19U9 (Nashville, Tennes- 
see: Vanderbilt University Press, 1951) ; Roberta D. Cor- 
nelius, The History of Randolph-Macon Woman's College: 
From the Founding in 1891 Through the Year of 19 U9 -19 50 
(Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1951) ; 
James F. Hopkins, A History of the Hemp Industry in Ken- 
tucky (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1951) ; J. F. J. 
Caldwell, The History of a Brigade of South Carolinians Knoivn 
First as "Gregg's," and Subsequently as "McGowan's Brigade" 
(Marietta, Georgia: Continental Book Company, 1951); Wil- 
liam Dosite Postell, The Health of Slaves on Southern Planta- 
tions (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951) ; 
Percy E. and Calvin Goodrich, A Great-Grandmother and Her 
People (Winchester, Indiana: Privately Printed, 1951) ; Douglas 
Southall Freeman, George Washington: A Biography, volume 
III, Planter and Patriot; volume IV, Leader of the Revolution 
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1951) ; Richard K. Mur- 
doch, The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793-1796: Spanish Reac- 

Historical News 155 

tion to French Intrigue and American Designs, University of 
California Publications in History, volume XL (Berkeley and 
Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1951) ; John Rich- 
ard Alden, General Charles Lee: Traitor or Patriot? (Baton 
Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1951); A Friendly 
Mission: John Candler's Letters from America, 1853-1854, In- 
dianapolis Historical Society Publications, volume XVI, number 1 
(Indianapolis, 1951) ; Federal Records of World War II, volume 
I, Civilian Agencies; volume II, Military Agencies (Washington: 
General Services Administration, National Archives and Records 
Service, The National Archives, 1950 and [volume II] 1951 ; 
Clarence Griffin, Essays on North Carolina History (Forest City, 
N. C. : The Forest City Courier, 1951) ; Edgar W. Knight, Educa- 
tion in the United States (Boston: Ginn and Company, 1951) ; 
Calvin B. Hoover and B. U. Ratchford, Economic Resources and 
Policies of the South (New York: The Macmillan Company, 
1950) ; W. C. Dula and A. C. Simpson, Durham and Her People 
(Durham, N. C. : The Citizens Press, 1951) ; E. Merton Coulter, 
College Life in the Old South (Athens : The University of Georgia 
Press, 1951) ; Allen P. Tankersley, College Life at Old Ogle- 
thorpe (Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 1951) ; Allen 
Johnston Going, Bourbon Democracy in Alabama, 1874-1890 
(University: University of Alabama Press, 1951) ; James H. 
Rodabaugh and Mary Jane Rodabaugh, Nursing in Ohio: A His- 
tory (Columbus, Ohio: The Ohio State Nurses' Association, 


Dr. Douglas LeTell Rights is acting archivist of the Moravian 
Church, Southern Province, and a Moravian minister of Winston- 

Dr. James S. Purcell is associate professor of English at 
Davidson College, Davidson. 

Dr. James High is acting assistant professor of history in the 
University of Washington at Seattle. 

Dr. Joseph Davis Applewhite is assistant professor of history 
at the University of Redlands in Redlands, California. 

Mr. William T. Alderson is a graduate student and teaching 
fellow at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. 

Dr. Mary Callum Wiley, daughter of Calvin Henderson Wiley 
and former head of the department of English at R. J. Reynolds 
High School in Winston-Salem, is the author of a daily column, 
"Mostly Local," in the Tivin-City Daily Sentinel, Winston-Salem. 

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory McPherson is a reference consultant 
of the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washing- 


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♦ • • • 

•» • * 


North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXIX 

Number 2 

APRIL, 1952 

Published by 


Corner of Eden ton and Salisbury streets 

Raleigh, N. C. 

• • « • • 

« • • t • , 
• • • . . 

• • •• 

• • . 

* ,' ' . » c * ' « » « « 

c * • 

c c 

< < 

c « 

< « 


Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N. C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Coreitt, Managing Editor 

Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lefler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 
Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Gallie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 1924, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may be 
procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX APRIL, 1952 Number 2 


CAROLINA, 1820-1860 159 

Fannie Memory Farmer 


John Chalmers Vinson 


Charles Grier Sellers, Jr. 


James M. Merrill 



Ernest M. Lander, Jr. 

ASSOCIATION, Raleigh, December 7, 1951 


Christopher Crittenden 

TOWN 230 

E. Lawrence Lee, Jr. 


FOR 1951 246 

Frontis W. Johnston 



Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Mary Lindsay Thornton 

Entered as second-class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 



Edmonds's The Negro and Fusion Politics in North 
Carolina, 1894-1901 — By Preston W. Edsall; Rec- 
ord's The Negro and the Communist Party — By Pres- 
ton W. Edsall; Dula's and Simpson's Durham and 
Her People — By D. J. Whitener; Taylor's Survey of 
Marine Fisheries of North Carolina — By David H. 
Wallace; Bailey's and Leavitt's The Southern Hu- 
manities Conference and Its Constituent Societies — By 
M. L. Skaggs; Going's Bourbon Democracy in Alabama 
— By Frontis W. Johnston ; Carter's The Territorial 
Papers of the United States — By Walter H. Ryle; 
Loth's The People's General: The Personal Story of 
Lafayette — By May Davis Hill ; Fishbein's and Ben- 
nett's Records of the Accounting Department of the 
Office of Price Administration, Shonkwiler's Records 
of the Bureau of Ordnance, and Martin's Records of 
the Solid Fuels Administration for War, Preliminary 
Inventories of the National Archives, numbers 32, 33, 
and 34 — By Dorothy Dodd. 


The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX APRIL, 1952 Number 2 


By Fannie Memory Farmer 

Before a young man could launch out on a legal career a 
century ago he was faced with the same problem which aspirants 
have today. He had to go through what is known as a bar 
examination. The feelings of those young men were not different 
from those of candidates in the twentieth century. The boys, 
no matter how thorough their preparation had been, felt a 
twinge of nervousness as they approached the august judges. 
A son of Justice Thomas Ruffin, William K. Ruffin, wrote to 
his father in 1833 that he was really afraid to appear as a 
candidate for a license. He had begun to realize the fact that 
he was inadequately prepared and had not studied enough. He 
confided to his father that he was determined to be a more 
careful student after he obtained his license than he had been 
in the months just past. He felt worried about some of the fine 
distinctions of certain points of law and admitted that "The 
chapter on Assumpsit I think the most difficult, because perhaps 
I cannot understand his leading distinction, for though I read 
it twice I cannot tell when a special assumpsit should be brought 
and when a General hidebitatis Assumpsit" 1 It is easy to feel 
sympathetic with young Ruffin. 

While preparing for the bar examination, some of the students 
attempted to find out from the judges which subjects they should 
stress in their studies. In 1840 Tod R. Caldwell wrote to Thomas 

I wish to get some advice from you relative to a course of 
reading. My intention at present is, to make application, at the 
next session of the Supreme Court, for license to practice in the 

1 Joseph Gregoire de Roulhac Hamilton, editor, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin (Raleigh, 
1918-1920), II, 79-80. 


160 The North Carolina Historical Review 

County Courts and I have already read and reviewed second 
and third Blackstone, Walker's Introduction to American Law 
and Stephen on Pleading. Gov: Swain had advised me to take 
up Chitty on Contracts but on application to Messrs. Turner 
and Hughes I find that that book is not to be had. It is not 
thro' want of confidence in any recommendations that the Gov: 
may make that I now solicit your advice; but because I am 
confident that it necessarily follows from the situation which 
you occupy, that you must be more intimately acquainted with 
what is expected of young men by your court, when they make 
application for license. I am sorry that I neglected the opportuni- 
ty of conversing with you on this subject, when I last saw you. 2 

From 1760, when the court began to examine applicants, to 
1880, it does not appear that any definite amount of time for 
study was required before an applicant could take the bar exam- 
ination. From 1760 to 1904 there was no supervision of legal 
studies. 3 The lack of strict requirements is well illustrated by 
the case of Robert Rufus Bridgers, a graduate of the University 
of North Carolina class of 1841. He studied law in his spare 
time during his senior year and was admitted to the bar a week 
after graduation. This haphazard method of preparation was 
criticised by Chief Justice Ruffin, who said it would either inter- 
fere with college studies or impair the health of the student. 
The court hoped to reject Bridgers; but, though the justices 
examined him at great length, he gained admission to the bar. 4 
Despite the oral criticism of the system by the court, nothing 
was done to remedy the situation for years. Students continued 
to appear before the judges when they felt well enough prepared 
to pass the examination. 

The North Carolina legislature conferred the power of ad- 
mitting attorneys to the bar on the judges of the Superior 
Courts in 1754. In 1818 the power was given to two or more 
judges of the Supreme Court; this law was in effect until 1869. 5 
If the judges found a candidate to be qualified, so far as his 
knowledge of the law was concerned, and of good moral char- 
acter, he was given a certificate to practice in any court for 

2 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 180-181. 

3 Albert Coates, "Standards of the Bar," North Carolina Law Review, VI (December, 
1927), 39, 41. 

* Samuel A'Court Ashe, Stephen B. Weeks, and Charles L. Van Noppen, editors, Bio- 
graphical History of North Carolina (Greensboro, 1905-1917), I, 173. 
5 In re Applicants for License, 143 N. C. 11 (1906). 

The Bar Examination 161 

which the judges deemed him qualified. 6 At this time the exam- 
ination was oral. 7 

The date for the examination for admission to the bar was 
not established at a fixed time as it is today. William A. Graham 
wrote in 1827 that he had appeared for questioning on a par- 
ticular morning but that Judges Hall and Taylor did not attend 
court that day. Consequently, his examination had been deferred 
till that night or the next morning. 8 Imagine the consternation 
the boy must have felt at having this important event nonchalant- 
ly postponed a day! In 1838 the Supreme Court provided that 
"All applicants for admission to the Bar must present them- 
selves for examination during the first seven days of the term." 9 
This put some limit on the time in which the law student could 
try for his license, but the time was still none too definite. 

At this period of legal history, the law required two exam- 
inations — one for a County Court license and one for a Superior 
Court license ; and the Court required the lapse of a year between 
the granting of the two. 10 As was true of many of its ukases, 
the Court did not strictly enforce this regulation. For example, 
William H. Battle was so thoroughly prepared when he pre- 
sented himself that the Supreme Court granted him County 
and Superior Court licenses at a single term. 11 

In many cases the bar examiners had taught several of the 
applicants. The leaders of the bar during this period served on 
the bench; the leaders also engaged in teaching and conducting 
the most successful law schools. Because the judges had often 
taught the examinees, they frequently knew the capacities of 
individuals taking the examination; in fact, most of the appli- 
cants were known to at least one of the members of the examining 

6 Henry Potter, John Louis Taylor, Bartlett Yancey, editors, Laws of the State of North 
Carolina, including the Titles of such Statutes and Parts of Statutes of Great Britain as 
Are in Force in Said State; Together with the Second Charter Granted by Charles II. to 
the Proprietors of Carolina; The Great Deed of Grant from the Lords Proprietors; The 
Grant from George II. to John Lord Granville; The Bill of Rights and Constitution of the 
State, including the Names of the Members of the Convention that formed the same; The 
Constitution of the United States, with the Amendments; and The Treaty of Peace of 1783; 
with Marginal Notes and References (Raleigh, 1821), I, Ch. 115, Sec. 7, 284. Hereinafter 
cited Revised Code of 1821. See also Bartholomew F. Moore and Asa Biggs, editors, The 
Revised Code of North Carolina (n. p., [1852]), Ch. VIII, Sec. 1, 18. Hereinafter cited 
Revised Code of 1852. 

7 Charles F. Warren, "The President's Address," Report of the Second Annual Meeting 
of the North Carolina Bar Association, Held at Battery Park Hotel, Asheville, N. C, 
June 27th, 28th, and 29th, 1900 (Durham, 1900), 117. 

8 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, I, 370. 

9 "Rules of Court," 20 N. C. 324 (1838). 

10 Kemp Plummer Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, edited by William James 
Battle (Chapel Hill, 1945), 81. 

11 Obituaries, Funeral and Proceedings of the Bar in Memory of the Late Hon. Wm. H. 
Battle (Raleigh, 1879), 22. 

162 The North Carolina Historical Review 

board. 12 In many respects this was an advantage to the pros- 
pective lawyers, for the judges were more apt to take a personal 
interest in the young men whom they knew than in those 
absolutely unknown to them. They were also likely to take into 
consideration the fact that the applicants might not do quite so 
well under the strain of an examination as they could do under 
more favorable circumstances. 

Good moral character was a prerequisite to admission to the 
legal profession in the nineteenth century, just as it is in the 
twentieth century. A certificate to the effect that a man was of 
upright character was regarded as prima facie evidence of 
his moral fitness. 13 

Some of the letters of recommendation to the Supreme Court 
are interesting. Wright C. Stanley wrote to Thomas Ruffin in 
1830 saying he had known the applicant, Hamilton Graham, 
since infancy. He added that he would appreciate it if Ruffin 
would "extend civilities and attentions . . ." to the boy. 14 John 
Giles wrote a recommendation for Burton Craige saying that 
Craige had been deprived of his parents before he finished 
school but "without the aid of these two kind and best friends 
. . . ," he had made good in his studies. 15 James T. Morehead 
wrote on January 12, 1831, that the bearer of the letter, Joseph 
C. Meggison, was visiting Raleigh with the idea of securing 
his law license. Morehead said that the recommendation was 
a second-hand one. George Tomas had spoken well of the appli- 
cant and had asked Morehead to write to Ruffin on Meggison's 
behalf. Thomas did not himself write because he and Ruffin were 
not acquainted. Morehead assured Ruffin that he had heard the 
aspirant spoken of "in highly respectable terms . . ." by other 
men. 16 

James C. Dobbin wrote to J. J. Daniel that Robert Strange, 
Jr., "possesses more moral qualities than are well calculated 
to adorn the profession he has assumed." 17 William Gaston, 
writing about one hopeful applicant, "Mr. Sparrow," said that 
the boy's father's calamities had induced Sparrow to apply for 

12 "The North Carolina Bar," North Carolina Journal of Law, I (January, 1904), 2. 

13 Reed Kitchen, "Applicant's Character for Admission to Bar," North Carolina Law 
Review, II (December, 1924), 234. 

14 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 16-17. 
ir> Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 54. 

16 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 20. 

17 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 232. 

The Bar Examination 163 

a license earlier than he had intended. However, the boy was 
diligent and would hasten to make up his deficiencies in case 
he seemed to be unprepared at the examination. 18 William N. H. 
Smith observed that applicant A. P. Yancey might appear to a 
disadvantage because of the embarrassment of an examination, 
but Smith felt certain that Yancey's attainments were sufficient 
to entitle him to practice in the higher courts of the state. 19 

It is obvious that a personal element entered strongly into 
the matter of the bar examination during the years of the nine- 
teenth century. Individual problems and difficulties were often 
mentioned; undoubtedly, the examining judges were influenced 
by the statements of their fellow lawyers as to the fitness of 
those aspiring to the law. The legal profession was not over- 
crowded; the judges did not prepare extremely difficult exam- 
inations for the boys who came before them. Ambition and a 
willingness to work were assets to be taken into account in 
determining the quality of the law student seeking recognition 
as a full-fledged attorney. 

Though it appears that failure to pass the bar examination 
was an almost unheard-of thing, nearly every applicant felt 
uneasy about taking the oral examination from the justices of 
the Supreme Court. Kemp P. Battle hoped to have a perfect 
examination, as he thought he knew everything in the textbooks. 
Though Pearson asked him a question he did not know, he was 
granted a license. 20 Surprise was sometimes expressed at the 
unusually good results accomplished by certain students. For 
example, Frederick Nash, writing to his son about a newly 
licensed lawyer, said that he had learned from Judge Ruffin 
that the boy obtained his license with much ease and that his 
examination had been very good, "much to my surprise." 21 

There was a general rule that licenses should not be issued 
before the twenty-first birthday. The Supreme Court, however, 
did not hold to this regulation with uniform strictness. Duncan K. 
McRae wrote to the Court requesting that his license be issued 
nine days "earlier than the Law suggests . . ." so that he might 
begin practicing at the opening of the Onslow County Court. 22 

18 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 215. 
"Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 289. 

20 Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, 108. 

21 Frederick Nash to his son, Fred Nash, [month?] 29, 1839, Nash Papers, North Carolina 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

28 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 195. 

164 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Court decided to overlook the nonage of George E. Badger, 
licensed in 1815, because of "the narrowness of his fortunes and 
the dependance of his mother and sisters upon his exertions 
for their support. 23 

Successful applicants received licenses worded much like the 
law licenses of today. 

The State of North Carolina: To the justices (or judges) of 
the county (or superior) courts within the state: 

Whereas hath applied to me , and 

and judges of the supreme court of 

North Carolina, for admission to practice as an attorney and 
counsellor, in the several county (or superior) courts within 
the state aforesaid we do hereby certify that he hath produced 
to us sufficient testimonials of his upright character, and upon 
an examination had before us, is found to possess a competent 
knowledge of the law, to entitle him to admission according to 
his said examination. 

Given under our hands at , this day of , 

18 . 2 * 

The license having been issued, the new attorney had to be 
sworn in in open court, 25 a requirement still obtaining. There 
were three required oaths. The first was the attorney's oath. 

I, , do swear or affirm that I will truly and honestly 

demean myself in the practice of an attorney according to my 
best knowledge and ability; so help me God. 

The second oath was one of allegiance to the state of North 
Carolina and its constitution; the third required a pledge of 
allegiance to the United States Constitution. 26 

Even the passing of the examination and the taking of the 
three oaths did not enable the attorney to enter upon the practice 
of his profession. Before he could practice, a new lawyer had 
to pay a tax on his license and to produce the receipt of the 
clerk showing that the license tax had been paid. The tax was 
paid to the clerk of the court in which the attorney first ex- 
hibited his license. 27 Several years later a statute provided that 
the tax be paid to the clerk of the Supreme Court when the 

23 W. J. Peele, editor, Lives of Distinguished North Carolinians (Raleigh, 1898), 185. 

24 Edward Cantwell, The Practice at Law in North Carolina (Raleigh, 1860), I, 121. 
2C Revised Code of 1852, Ch. VIII, Sec. 3, 18. 

20 Cantwell, The Practice at Law in North Carolina, I, 122. 
27 Revised Code of 1821, Ch. 698, Sees. 1 and 2, 1064. 

The Bar Examination 165 

license was granted. The judge handed over the license to one 
of the clerks ; the clerk then passed the license back to the new 
attorney after payment of the tax. 28 In 1852 this tax was set 
at $10.00 ; 29 it was later raised to $15.00. 30 In discussing the 
license tax in 1827, Chief Justice Taylor said : 

On the subject of your enquiry I am able to state, that the 
practise has been invariable when two licenses have been granted, 
to require a tax of £5 for a county court license, and an addi- 
tional tax of £10 for a general license. I know too that it was 
a principal motive with Judge Haywood in giving a general 
license at first to save to poor young men the additional tax. 

I cannot call to mind a single exception to the practise first 
stated; and you remember the Judges until a few years ago, 
were accustomed to collect the tax, and account for it to the 
comptroller. We always received £5 for a county court license 
and £10 for a superior court one. I remember too having paid 
both taxes. 31 

After going through all of the procedure outlined above, the 
admission of the new attorney to the bar caused little fanfare 
or comment in the newspapers of the day. Simple notices such 
as the following, which appeared in the Raleigh Register on 
June 17, 1848, were common. "The following gentlemen under- 
went an examination before this Court on Tuesday last, and 
were fully admitted to Superior Court License. . . ." 32 A list 
of the names of those who had passed was printed after the 
preliminary statement. After each term of the Supreme Court 
the newspapers printed similar notices of County and Superior 

28 The money collected from this source was used in defraying the costs of state prosecution 
and contingent county expenses. Revised Code of 1821, Ch. 769, Sec. 1, 1155. The Supreme 
Court Clerk was required to deposit license tax moneys in the public treasury within two 
months after their payment; if he failed to perform this duty, he was liable on his official 
bond. Public Laws of North Carolina, Passed by the General Assembly, at Its Session of 
18^6-U7: Together with the Comptroller's Statement of Public Revenue and Expenditure, 
Ch. LXXII, Sec. 7, 140. Hereinafter cited Public Laws of North Carolina. 

29 Of this $10.00 the clerk took six per cent as his commission. Revised Code of 1852, 
Ch. 99, Sec. 36, 209. 

30 Public Laws of North Carolina, (1856-1857), Ch. 34, Sec. 40, 40. The 1858-1859 laws 
gave the clerk a five per cent commission. Public Laws of North Carolina (1858-1859), 
Ch. 25, Sec. 93 (4), 57. The state acquired more than might be expected from this source. 
The treasurer's report from October 31, 1850, to November 1, 1852, shows that $210.00 was 
collected in January, 1851; $180.00 in June; $400.00 in January, 1852; and $180.00 in July. 
See "Public Treasurer's Report to the Legislature of North Carolina, for the Two Fiscal 
Years Ending Nov. 1, 1852," in Public Laws of North Carolina (1852), 4-7. In 1853 the 
comptroller's statement showed that this tax yielded $590.00. In 1854 $550.00 came from 
this source. See "Statements of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, for the Two Fiscal 
Years Ending October 31st, 1853 and 1854," Public Laws of North Carolina (1854-1855), 
148-149, 183, 185. The amount rose steadily, until, in 1859, $1,647.30 was received. See 
"Statements of the Comptroller of Public Accounts, for the Two Fiscal Years Ending 
September 30th, 1859 and 1860," Public Laws of North Carolina (1860-1861), 132. At this 
period, the Supreme Court held sessions in Morganton as well as in Raleigh. The Morganton 
clerk was instructed to apply the money paid to him toward the purchase of law books for 
a Supreme Court library in Morganton. Public Laws of North Carolina (1850-1851), Ch. 
XCIII, Sec. 1, 164. 

31 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, 1, 421. 
82 Raleigh Register, June 17, 1848. 

166 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Court licenses that had been issued. The names of new lawyers 
first appeared in the reports of the Supreme Court decisions 
in 1854. This brief notice gave the names of the new members 
of the bar and the counties from which they came. 33 

In 1824 the Raleigh Register stated that "Another young 
gentleman applied for a license, but being born an alien and not 
naturalized, he was not examined." 34 The problem of admission 
of aliens to the North Carolina bar and of comity licenses was 
not definitely settled until 1824. In that year the North Carolina 
Supreme Court decided that aliens would not be allowed admis- 
sion to the bar because the licentiate was supposed to be po- 
litically, as well as legally and morally, qualified to transact 
business of a legal nature in the state of North Carolina. The 
court stated that the legal profession was " 'in its nature the 
noblest and most beneficial to mankind ; in its abuse and debase- 
ment the most sordid and pernicious/ . . ." 35 No person coming 
into North Carolina from a foreign country or from another 
state would be admitted to practice unless he had previously 
resided one year in the state or unless he could produce a tes- 
timonial of good character from the chief magistrate or from 
some other competent authority. 36 The statute failed to define 
what was meant by competent authority, but the admissibility 
of aliens and persons from other states does not seem to have 
caused much difficulty in North Carolina. 

Most North Carolina lawyers were native born and so there 
was little need to have definitely settled rules of comity. Several 
inquiries to Ruffin expressed ignorance of the practice of granting 
comity licenses in North Carolina. Warren Winslow wrote in 
November, 1840, that he had an Alabama license and wanted 
an examination in North Carolina at the close of the December 
term. He was wholly uninformed as to the procedure he should 
take in arranging for such an examination. 37 

After being admitted to the legal fraternity, the newly licensed 
attorney had to find some way to establish himself in his pro- 
fession, but the step from law school to the practice of law was 
not difficult to take. His training had been practical, and the 

38 See volume 46 of the North Carolina Supreme Court Reports, 5, 6. 

34 Raleigh Register, July 25, 1824. 

35 Ex parte Thompson, 10 N. C. 364 (1824). 

M Revised Code of 1821, I, Ch. 115, Sec. 8, 284. 
37 Hamilton, Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 189. 

The Bar Examination 167 

young lawyer had some idea of how to proceed when he was 
favored with the patronage of a client. In the later years of 
the period, the training became more theoretical than practical 
and the jump into practice was more difficult than it had been. 
However, older lawyers were always eager to offer advice to 
the younger members of the profession. 

Frederick Nash wrote to his recently licensed son, shortly 
before he launched his legal career. 

Let the community see that you are determined to devote 
yourself to your profession — they will have confidence in you 
and you will in time reap your reward — As to books I do not 
know exactly what to say or do — You must take with you, your 
brothers Blackstone — & Iredells digest, tell him I will let him 
have my Iredell, when I return, he must not be without a copy 
— Take also my Chitty on Civil Pleading — & first and 2nd 
Phillips on Evidence — the latter you will find very useful, in 
telling you what pleas to enter, in the various kinds of actions 
& what is the evidence appropriate to each. It is a very useful 
book to a young beginer [sic]. Take also Selwyns Nisi 
Prius. . . . 

Nash said further that his son should have the North Carolina 
Supreme Court Reports, but he did not feel that he could afford 
to buy them for him. He suggested that his son use the set of 
reports in the clerk's office or borrow that of a fellow lawyer. 
He urged his son to be very careful about money and to regard 
what he advanced to him as a sound deposit, to be used for 
necessary expenses only. He wisely advised the young lawyer to 
take time to think and to study every case he had. In closing, 
Nash reminded his son that he could call on older lawyers when 
he needed help. He advised him that if he was "called on to file 
a Bill in Equity — old Harrisons Chancer [y] will give you a form 
or you can get one, by applying to M. Worth from his office." 
Nash also touched on the personal side of his son's new life by 
saying "Remember too Shepard you will not have your mother 
to darn & mend for you — be careful of your clothes. . . ." 38 
Judge Gaston wrote to a young lawyer, John L. T. Sneed, in 
1842, giving him a little fatherly advice on beginning his legal 
career. He said: 

38 Frederick Nash to Shepard K. Nash, undated, Nash Papers, North Carolina Department 
of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

168 The North Carolina Historical Review 

You have entered on a career in which diligence can scarcely 
fail to secure you success. Every motive that can be addressed 
to a good heart and a sound head concurs to impress upon a 
lawyer, the conviction that he owes to his clients the utmost 
fidelity. He is charged with the interests of one unable to act 
for himself, and he is faithless to the trust if he leaves any 
honorable means unexerted to secure and advance those in- 
terests. There is no mode so sure of rising to eminence in the 
profession as the exact, punctual, prompt and steady discharge 
of this duty. In the greater, far greater number of cases, in 
which a lawyer is engaged, extraordinary talents are not re- 
quired; but in all negligence may prove fatally destructive. An 
established reputation for diligence must therefore command 
employment. No man of common sense can be willing to confide 
important concerns to the management of a careless Attorney. 
Next to diligence in the discharge of the immediate duties 
which you owe to your client, is the obligation of endeavoring to 
perfect yourself in the knowledge of your profession. Suffer 
no day to pass without study, Read slowly — make what you 
read your own by eviscerating the principles on which the 
doctrine rests. It is impossible to charge the memory with a 
vast number of merely arbitrary distinctions ; but the principles 
on which they rest are few, and these may be faithfully treas- 
ured. 39 

Nash's and Gaston's advice to young lawyers of their acquaint- 
ance is still applicable, and any modern attorney would profit 
by following the advice laid down by two of the great lawyers 
of a century ago. 

Newly licensed lawyers, full of advice from fathers and 
friends, generally found the first few years of practice unprofit- 
able from a financial point of view. They sometimes felt insecure 
in the handling of the first bits of business which came into 
their offices, but experienced members of the bar were usually 
kind and willing to give them advice and aid. Though they did 
not have much business, many young attorneys made a point 
of adhering to regular hours and of riding the circuits in several 
counties so as to attract clients. For example, James C. Dobbin, 
who hung out his shingle in Fayetteville in 1835, made it a 
practice to be in his office during business hours whether anyone 
called or not. He believed that this regularity contributed greatly 
to his later success. Rather than seek a large circuit at the 
beginning, he gave his time and energies to a faithful discharge 

89 North Carolina University Magazine, VII (August, 1857), 37-38, 

The Bar Examination 169 

of "chamber practice" and in attending the County and Superior 
Courts of Cumberland, Sampson, and Robeson counties. 40 At- 
tendance at the County and Superior Courts of three counties 
would seem a large order for a young attorney today, but evi- 
dently such a circuit was considered a moderate one one hundred 
years ago. 

Thomas Ruffin, Jr., wrote to his mother that the circuit he 
had just completed had been pleasant and the judge had been 
"very kind and indulgent to . . ." him. 41 Thomas S. Kenan 
related the experience he had at his first case. He was licensed 
to practice in the County Courts in 1858 and in the Superior 
Courts in December, 1859. He opened his office in 1860, and 
his first suit was the collection of a note for a large amount of 
money. When Kenan saw the docket and all that had been written 
there, he felt inclined "to enter a nol pros., leave the court house, 
abandon the practice and engage in other business.'* Older 
lawyers reassured him; he completed the suit and won. His 
fee was $4.00, taxed against the defendant as a part of the 
costs. 42 It is evident that the older members of the bar and the 
judicial officers were helpful to the fledglings on more than one 

The value of opening an office in a small town or city and 
staying in it whether clients came or not proved profitable in 
the long run. William Horn Battle opened an office, but he de- 
cided to farm on the side while waiting for clients. He lived in 
the country for five years and his practice was negligible; he 
moved at the end of that time and devoted all of his attention 
to the law. Quickly he built up a large practice. 43 

The remoteness of Battle's office from his home probably con- 
tributed to his early failure as a lawyer, but the first few years 
of practice were not usually crowded with work for new lawyers. 
The Raleigh Register related an anecdote about a young lawyer 
whose time was not fully occupied. The writer of the article 
observed that since young attorneys had little to do, "during 
the years of their long apprenticeship, they usually make most 
of their leisure, in maturing schemes of frolic and fun, which 

40 James Banks, "A Biographical Sketch of the Late James C. Dobbin," North Carolina 
University Magazine, IX (February, 1860), 322. 

41 Hamilton, The Papers of Thomas Ruffin, II, 494. 

42 Thomas S. Kenan, "Remarks by Thos. S. Kenan, President of Bar Association," North 
Carolina Journal of Law, II (August, 1905), 345-346. 

43 Battle, Memories of an Old-Time Tar Heel, 12-14. 

170 The North Carolina Historical Review 

not only vastly delight themselves, but sometimes provoke even 
the grave and reverend seniors of the profession into a momen- 
tary oblivion of briefs and fee, green bag and greener clients." 44 
If the above statement can be taken literally, the lawyers, during 
the early years of practice, had an amusing time but did little 
work and received almost no financial reward. Such was un- 
doubtedly the case. Several lawyers of the period left statements 
as to their financial returns during the first years in which they 
engaged in practice. Bartholomew Figures Moore, who was ad- 
mitted to practice in 1823, revealed that his total income from 
the profession of law for seven years was only $700.00. 45 Daniel 
Gould Fowle was admitted to the bar in 1853 ; his receipts from 
the first year of his practice amounted to the small sum of 
$64.00. 46 It is a wonder more young barristers were not dis- 
couraged in the early years of the practice of law than were! 
The Raleigh Register commented: 

There are . . . young Lawyers in this city, who, we venture 
to say, do not, each, earn three hundred dollars per annum. 
A mason or a carpenter, boldly asks twenty shillings a day 
and gets it, all the year round — and yet parents scorn to make 
their sons mechanics — but rather allow them to starve in pro- 
fessions. How injudicious!! If it was more fashionable to be a 
Carpenter than a Lawyer or Physician the difficulty would soon 
be overcome. We know one contract given to a carpenter and 
Mason for $100,000! This is really business. 47 

It seems strange that despite the disadvantages which were 
connected with the legal profession — the long period of training, 
the bar examination, the starvation years faced by every young 
attorney, and the difficulty of building up a practice — it was the 
favored profession. The legal profession carried with it a certain 
prestige not found in other lines of work. It was the avenue to 
politics. A person from one of the lower classes of society could 
rise and be recognized as a gentleman by becoming a lawyer. 
The advantages outweighed the rather numerous disadvantages 
in the eyes of a large number of young men, and the legal 
profession grew in size at a rapid rate during the years from 
1820 to 1860. 

44 Raleigh Register, May 12, 1849. 

45 Ernest Haywood, Some Notes in Regard to the Eminent Lawyers Whose Portraits 
Adorn the Walls of the Superior Court Room at Raleigh, North Carolina. Address before 
Wake County Junior Bar Association, June 1, 1936 (n.p., n.d.), 15-16. 

46 Haywood, Some Notes in Regard to the Eminent Lawyers. . . , 10. 

47 Raleigh Register, May 31, 1836. 

By John Chalmers Vinson 

American history is so characterized by change that this 
transmutation is frequently assumed to be all-inclusive. For 
example, it is sometimes asserted that candidates today conduct 
their campaigns in a manner far different from that employed 
in the early days of this country. According to this school of 
thought, candidates in the early days of the Republic eschewed 
personal solicitation of votes, and left electioneering in the 
hands of their supporters. However, with the passage of time, 
the candidates allowed their eagerness to win public offices to 
corrode this high moral standard which once governed their 
conduct in campaigns. While this picture of pristine democracy 
may be representative of some, it is not applicable to all candi- 
dates. The practices of candidates in North Carolina for seats 
in the General Assembly and in Congress during the first three 
decades of the nineteenth century indicate that these candidates 
not infrequently solicited votes. Furthermore, a technique of 
winning votes was developed which was as subtle, persuasive, 
and infamous as any developed since that time. 

The prevalence of electioneering by the candidate can be 
gauged, roughly at least, by the interest in elections. A closely 
contested election was almost certain to call forth every effort 
that a candidate could command to assure his success. By this 
criterion electioneering must have been frequently employed, 
for the contest for office was often bitter, as is shown clearly 
in the following account: 

I have been to the place of voting, and had to carry a dirk 
for fear of getting into a scrape there ; I had some violent angry 
disputes; cursed my wife's brother; insulted my uncle; told my 
father he was a tory ; dared my nearest neighbor to fight ; have 
not for months been on speaking terms with my oldest friends 
. . . and what is it for? To elect a man to an office ... I 
have been running after his heels, freeman as I am, and barking 
at his enemies like a dog, ready to tear out my neighbor's eyes, 
bite off his nose, split his thumb, slit his lip, or scollop his ear. 1 

The editor of the newspaper in which this account appeared 
declared it a true description of elections from the smallest to 

1 The Star and North Carolina Gazette (Raleigh), November 19, 1835. 


172 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the largest; from constable to President. By 1835, when a con- 
vention was called to revise the constitution of the state, local 
elections were denounced because they were frequently pro- 
ductive of "heart-burnings and bitterness," 2 and nurtured "feuds, 
quarrels, and bloodshed." 3 Occasionally, a Grand Jury would 
find it necessary to denounce the prevalence of "high party 
spirit," and adopt resolutions recommending "cool reflecting 
judgment, unbiased by party rage or intriguing design." 4 

Such interest might, at first glance, appear to be inexplicable 
in view of the property qualifications for officeholding and for 
voting. 5 However, the percentage of the population casting votes 
for the candidates for Representative was so high as to indicate 
that few people were disfranchised by the necessity of paying 
taxes. The requirement of a fifty-acre freehold appears to have 
reduced the number voting for state Senator to about half of 
those voting for Representative, but even so, a substantial 
part of the populace could cast this ballot. 

Successful candidates had to command a large public follow- 
ing, and the early laws on the conduct of elections indicate that 
a variety of means were employed to achieve this end. The 
first law in this code, passed in 1777, prohibited bribery, stuffing 
the ballot box, and multiple voting by one person. 6 Another 
law, added to the code in 1793, made the use of "force and 
violence to break up an election by assaulting the officers in charge 
or depriving them of the ballot boxes" a misdemeanor punishable 
by fine and imprisonment. 7 Further protection for the voter 
was provided by a law passed in 1795. By the terms of this 
act a fine of five hundred pounds, later changed to four hundred 
dollars, was assessed anyone convicted of assembling at a polling 
place a regimental battalion, company muster, or any group 
of armed men. 8 Legal protection from a more subtle form of 
coercion, "treating," was afforded the voter by the adoption 

2 Proceedings and Debates of the Constitution Convention of North Carolina Called to 
Amend the Constitution of the State (Raleigh, 1835), 47, 48. 

3 William K. Boyd, History of North Carolina (Chicago, 1919), II, 144. 
* Western Carolinian (Salisbury), February 12, 1828. 

5 The constitution of North Carolina, adopted in 1776, was not amended in regard to 
provisions for elections until 1835. Candidates for the House of Commons were required 
to own one hundred acres of land and candidates for the state Senate had to own three 
hundred acres. To vote for a Senator a citizen had to show title to a fifty-acre freehold. 
However, any freeman, black or white, who paid taxes could vote for the representatives 
to the lower house. John Haywood, A Manual of the Laws of North Carolina (Raleigh, 
1819), 138-139. (Hereafter referred to as Haywood, Laws.) 

6 Haywood, Laws, 366. 

7 Haywood, Laws, 181. 

8 Revised Statutes of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1836), 197-198. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 173 

of a law in 1801. It provided a fine of two hundred dollars "if 
any person shall treat, either with meat or drink, on any day 
of election or any previous day with the intention of influencing 
the election. . . ." The sheriff, on penalty of a fine of forty 
dollars, was directed to publish this law before each election. 9 
The final addition to the legal framework for elections was 
an oath, adopted in 1812, which required the appointed inspectors 
to discharge their duties with fairness and honesty. 10 

In addition to the restraint imposed by these laws, the candi- 
dates faced another limitation — a popular theory of republican 
government — that the electorate be independent and self-suffi- 
cient in the choice of public officials. The candidates should be 
men of outstanding ability who did not seek office, but who 
accepted election as a call to public service. From this ideal 
grew the belief that candidates for office should not influence 
the voters unduly by actively seeking election. A candidate who 
solicited votes might find the public warned against "the vernility 
of insinuating, electioneering characters/' who would seize the 
opportunity to "destroy the pivot on which . . . minds should 
turn/' 11 Under this theory any active campaign for office might 
be condemned. In North Carolina, during the early years of the 
nineteenth century, these principles were universally professed 
by the candidates, but were subject, as the legal provisions just 
discussed may indicate, to widely differing interpretations in 
the heat of contested elections. 

With reference to this ideal, the actual practices of the can- 
didates thereby classify them into one of three general categories. 
The first category was made up of candidates who adhered to 
the ideal in its strictest interpretation and made no campaign 
to gain office. They averred that any electioneering was a viola- 
tion of the voter's freedom of choice. The second class of candi- 
dates campaigned, but only because they professed to feel an 
obligation to educate the public as to issues and office seekers. 
A third group electioneered, so they maintained, in self-defense. 
Their purpose was to protect themselves and the voters from 
the lies and slanders spread abroad by the opposition. 

9 Revised Statutes of North Carolina, 298. 

10 Haywood, Laws, 372. 

11 Broadsides, S. C, 1802. The broadsides cited herein are found in the Manuscript 
Collection at the Duke University Library. 

174 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Candidates in the first category, who refused to make a 
campaign, were well represented by William Lenoir who ex- 
plained his position as follows: "I never asked a man for his 
Vote yet, and I think it such an imposition on a freeman to do it, 
that I hope I shall never be Guilty of so great an insult on the 
understanding and liberty of my Countrymen." He pictured the 
ideal election as one in which the people "would be actuated by 
good Sound Principles of Honor and Justice . . . and Vote 
impartially for those they think most faithful and capable to 
serve them." 12 Some years later this position was upheld by 
John Stanley, who stated that he would take pride in the election 
only if it were the result of a free expression of the will of the 
people. "Electioneering," he added, "I shall therefore abstain 
from." 13 An editor, in 1833, indicated the universal profession 
of this ideal when he spoke of "that deep and abiding abhorrence 
with which sober and sensible people look upon the shameful 
practice of begging for office. . . ." 14 

An excellent expression of the ideal of the second group of 
candidates, who approved the campaign for educational purposes, 
was printed in the Greensborough Patriot in 1833. According 
to this article, "Electioneering is justifiable, and even com- 
mendable where the candidates travel among the people for the 
purpose of enlightening their minds instead of exciting their 
prejudices." 15 This care to appeal to reason rather than to 
emotion was typical of men who subscribed to the ideal of 
political education of the people. Their aim was exemplified 
by a candidate, in 1810, who stated that in his campaign he 
had "abstained from every remark and expression which might 
rouse the furious passions of a party." 16 

Candidates who fell into the third class campaigned to refute 
misrepresentations both actual and anticipated. They usually 
took the field by reason of circumstances rather than as a matter 
of choice. Judge William B. Gaston, a very prominent man in 
public life in early North Carolina history, told the people that 
his active campaign was forced upon him by the necessity of 
answering the "electioneering misrepresentations which I learnt 

12 Fletcher Melvin Green, editor, "Electioneering 1802 Style," in The North Carolina 
Historical Review, XX (July, 1943), 244w. 

13 Broadsides, July 24, 1822. 

14 Greensborough Patriot, July 19, 1833. 

15 Greensborough Patriot, July 19, 1833. 
10 Broadsides, July 24, 1810. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 175 

have been circulated to injure me. . . .' ni Charles Fisher of 
Salisbury, in 1833, regretting that it was necessary to intrude 
on the voter's time, told him that "the untiring pains that have 
been taken for years past to run me down in your good opinion ; 
and that will continue to be taken between this and the election, 
seem to require that I should notice these arts of malice and put 
you on your guard against their authors." 18 

As might be expected, with such varying interpretations of 
the ideal of a free and enlightened electorate, there was much 
electioneering in North Carolina in the period 1800-1835. In 
nearly all instances studied, the ideal of the voter's freedom 
of choice was affirmed by the office seeker. It was maintained, 
as will be seen in the further study of the methods of candidates, 
that the real purpose of the campaign was to broaden rather 
than to abridge the rights of the voter. 

The electioneering candidate usually made use of all of the 
available means for reaching the public. In this day these in- 
cluded newspapers, broadsides, personal canvasses, and speeches. 

The first of these channels, the newspaper, was seldom a major 
factor in local campaigns. Newspapers were few in number, 19 
most of them were weekly, and frequently they ignored the 
local elections completely. 20 The chief reasons for this reticence 
by the press were, on one hand, a journalistic policy which em- 
phasized literary works and national news; and, on the other 
hand, an instinct for self-preservation. This latter attitude had 
been instilled by the observation of the untimely deaths of those 
too critical of hotheaded, straight-shooting aspirants to office. 21 

Campaign by newspaper was hindered in still another respect. 
Reading was an ability which only a few Americans had ac- 
quired by the 1830's. One candidate, recognizing this problem, 

17 Broadsides, July 24, 1810. 

18 Broadsides, June 25, 1835. 

19 It is estimated that there were only seven newspapers in North Carolina in 1820, and 
that the number increased to twenty-three by the early thirties. Willie P. Mangum Papers, 
Duke University Manuscript Collection. William K. Boyd, Life of Willie P. Mangum, un- 
finished manuscript, ch. VI, 6. Also Clarence Clifford Norton, The Democratic Party in 
Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 1835-1861 (Chapel Hill), 12. 

20 The Carolina Watchman of Salisbury made no mention of the local election of 1833 
which, according to information in the broadsides distributed by the candidates, was a 
hotly contested affair. See Broadsides, Charles Fisher, June 25, 1833. 

21 The editor of a Raleigh newspaper was involved in a law suit in 1816, because he 
refused to reveal the name of a libelous and anonymous critic who employed the paper 
as a sounding board for his condemnation of a local politician. Raleigh Register and North 
Carolina Gazette, September 6, 1816. Willie P. Mangum and William Seawell almost 
engaged in a duel because of a circular printed in the latter's paper, which cast aspersions 
on Mangum. He demanded satisfaction for the insult. The matter was settled by an exchange 
of nothing more dangerous than heated words. Mangum Papers, Mangum to Seawell, 1823. 

176 The North Carolina Historical Review 

asked the aid of his supporters in overcoming it. "I beg such 
of my friends as can read the newspaper to name [his candidacy 
for office] to their neighbors who can't read, particularly the 
mechanics and laboring men. . . ." 22 However, the chief factor 
in eliminating the newspaper from the local political campaigns 
appears to have been the editorial and personal policy of the 

Printed matter was, nevertheless, an important element in 
the strategy of the electioneer. Instead of newspapers, the can- 
didate employed broadsides and circulars couched in words of 
"learned length and thundering sound." 23 These broadsides were 
similar in form to handbills of today. They usually consisted 
of a single sheet about eight by fifteen inches in size printed on 
one side. There was much variation in size, with some as small 
as a filing card and others nearer the dimensions of a present- 
day news sheet. Broadsides were distributed in several ways. 
Occasionally, they were printed in the newspapers and con- 
stituted the principal method by which the candidate employed 
the press in his campaign. More frequently, however, the broad- 
sides were distributed by hand and by mail. Congressmen often 
used the franking privilege for the latter method. 24 

The degree to which candidates made use of broadsides was 
indicated by a report, in 1804, that there had been a "great 
influx of that species of pestilence," the broadside. A candidate 
in an election of that year had issued a thousand circulars 
written in longhand. One observer caustically described this 
effort as a "specimen of his zeal in the cause of the people." 25 
Nor did this form of zealousness decline during the next few 
decades. The Greensborough Patriot reported, in 1833, that it 
had printed a thousand broadsides for a candidate in a local 
election. 26 

The content of the broadside was subject to much variation, 
depending on the ideals of the candidate. If he believed cam- 
paigning should be employed to educate the public, the circular 
might be a formal account of his accomplishments in office, 
or his qualifications for the post. If he were refuting slanders, 

82 Carolina Observer and Fayetteville Gazette, August, 1825. 

23 Greensborough Patriot, August 10, 1836. 

24 Norton, The Democratic Party, 28. 

^Minerva; or Anti-Jacobin (Raleigh), August 6, 1804. 
26 Greensborough Patriot, May 15, 1833. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 177 

or spreading them, his epistle was limited in form only by his 
imagination and ability as a writer. Another factor which de- 
termined the style of the broadside was the proximity of election 
day. The more formal circulars announcing candidacy were 
issued early in the year, while the personal attacks and refuta- 
tions came later in the campaign. As a general rule, an effort 
was made to release the most damaging information on the 
day of election. 27 

Nearly all candidates, whether they electioneered or not, issued 
circulars announcing that they were seeking office. They usually 
felt it necessary to give in this notice the reasons which had 
influenced them in reaching their decision to enter the race. 
Frequently, the office seeker gave a simple explanation, feeling 
that no other justification was needed beyond the fact that any 
citizen who could qualify had the right to seek office in a 
democracy. 28 Others felt that their candidacy would be enhanced 
by a more detailed cataloguing of their abilities. In this purpose, 
few could surpass the candidate who asserted that he sought 
re-election, because he had never "heard a murmur of disappro- 
bation or a whisper of censor uttered against my [his] public 
conduct." 29 

Many candidates did not presume to judge their own fitness, 
but entered the hustings because they felt that a citizen owed 
his country the best service he could give. John Scott, a candidate 
in 1827, asserted that he was seeking office because he believed 
it "to be the duty of every citizen to contribute something to 
the benefit of his country." 30 More eloquent in his expression 
of this ideal was John Stanley, who averred, "There are few 
among you upon whom interest, duty and feeling call more loudly 
than upon myself, to abandon public service and to remain at 
home; yet . . . every man belongs to his country. If it is your 
pleasure to elect me, I will serve you in the Senate." 31 

Other individuals did not consider themselves worthy of 
office, but became candidates, so they asserted, in response to 
an overwhelming demand on the part of the people. Such was 

27 Announcements of candidates for Congress were usually released early in the year. 
The 33 circulars in the Duke University collection show the following distribution: January 
— 2; February — 6; March — 2; April — 1; May — 2; June — 6; July — 9; and August — 5. Broadsides, 
Duke University. These are totals for all years. 

28 Broadsides, August 4, 1823. 

29 Carolina Federal Republican (New Bern), August 1, 1812. 

80 Broadsides. June 25, 1827. 

81 Broadsides, July 24, 1822. 

178 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the situation which brought about the candidacy for Congress 
of W. B. Grove. He declared that he had not sought office, but 
was entering the contest because of the "solicitations of a re- 
spectable number of my fellow citizens." 32 Apparently, the effec- 
tiveness of this approach to the voter was enhanced if the candi- 
date was in no way involved in eliciting the popular clamor. 
In any event, the candidate-to-be was surprised, with startling 
regularity, by a popular demand that he serve his country in 
office. A candidate, in 1831, stated, "A very flattering nomination 
having been made of my name without my privity or consent, 
I have no option but to comply with what seems to be the desire 
of a large portion of my fellow citizens." 33 

A variation of this technique was an expression of the popular 
demand for candidacy by an open letter printed in the local 
newspaper. With remarkable presence of mind the candidate 
usually mastered his surprise in time to accept the nomination, 
sometimes, with a letter in the same issue of the paper. 34 

Those candidates who did not believe in electioneering would, 
after the announcement of entry, quietly await the expression 
of the unprejudiced opinion of the public. However, for those 
candidates who felt a duty to educate the public this announce- 
ment was merely the beginning. They then set about presenting 
their qualifications to the public in the most convincing fashion 
that they could command. 

To these candidates the approach which aimed to appeal to 
the common man was well known. The voter was assured that 
the candidate was a poor and unpretentious person who knew 
and shared the problems of the common man. James Wellborn, 
in an appeal to the voters in 1802, pointed out that "he never 
kicked the people, he was a Republican, he was Elected by the 
Poor men and not by the rich." His opponent, he charged, was 
by contrast "in Combination with the rich" and would be dan- 
gerous to elect since his "interest was different from theirs." 35 

A more eloquent effort to establish the same democratic re- 
lationship of interest was offered by a candidate, in 1817, who 
said, "The bread of labor is sweet. I have eaten thereof — I am 

32 The North Carolina Chronicle; or, Fayetteville Gazette, January 24 and January 31, 1791. 
Other examples of this technique are found in Broadsides, July 4, 1817, and June 30, 1824. 
38 Broadsides, July 4, 1831. 
34 Hillsborough Recorder, July 25, 1834. 
85 Green, "Electioneering 1802 Style," 245. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 179 

acquainted with your toils, and can justly appreciate your 
worth." 36 This candidate enlarged the scope of his appeal by 
modestly calling attention to the fact that he had worked at 
mercantile, agricultural, mechanical, and professional callings. 37 
Perhaps, such nearly universal assertions of plainness did not 
arouse the suspicion of the people. They did, however, cause 
candidates who were trying to excel in the affections of the 
masses, to become skeptical of these professions. Such was the 
case with an office seeker, in 1823, who declared, "I am, as 
many of you know, a plain farmer (I mean a farmer on land, 
not on paper) . . . my interests in no respect differ from 
yours." 38 

The candidate, having identified his interests with those of 
the voters, usually continued his appeal to the people by defining 
the issues in the election, and stating the policy which he advo- 
cated. Most candidates felt it necessary to adopt a specific plat- 
form. If they failed to do so, the opposition would supply the 
deficiency by imputing to them a program false to the candidate's 
real ideals. 39 Even though the candidate did not believe in elec- 
tioneering, he might distribute a broadside in which he com- 
mented on the issues in a learned and dispassionate manner. 
Generally, such a circular would be devoted completely to the 
survey of public policy, and only a sentence or two would be 
devoted to soliciting votes. 40 

The more active campaigners did not regard a platform merely 
as a process of education or protection; they recognized that 
it could be a valuable device for winning votes. To serve this 
practical purpose the candidate found it expedient to fashion 
a platform which overlooked the vital issues difficult to treat, 
while vigorously belaboring fictitious menaces, which could be 
expelled easily. Although this technique was widely used, it 
was not universally condoned. One irate citizen denounced these 
candidates who got a theme and rode it "as a hobby" into the 
seats of power as "besotted demagogues," who walked over the 
people's "prostrate liberties into the halls of legislation." In 
"riding a hobby" one candidate would promise the building of a 

38 Broadsides, July 4, 1817. 

87 Broadsides, July 4, 1817. 

88 Broadsides, July 8, 1823. 
88 Broadsides, July 4, 1817. 

40 Broadsides, April 15, 1822; June 25, 1827; January, 1829; February, 1829; June 24, 

1829; February 16, 1831. 

180 The North Carolina Historical Review 

railroad as an internal improvement, while another would oppose 
the project in order to save taxes. The fact that he was not a 
lawyer by profession supplied a suitable "hobby" for one office 
seeker; at the same time another commended himself to the 
public because he was one. These and many other "hobbies" 
the observer branded as devices designed to distract and confuse 
rather than to educate and enlighten the public. The epitome 
of this issue-evading approach was the campaign technique of 
G. T. Moore. This would-be solon conveniently overlooked the 
local issues in his campaign speech, the burden of which was, 
"Huzza for Jackson, and damn the Tariff." 41 

A variation of the technique of circumventing the local issues, 
blameless in itself, was the flag-waving praise of democracy, 
frequently emphasized to the exclusion of all other issues. John 
Giles, a candidate for Congress in 1823, devoted so much of his 
circular to enthusiastic praise of democracy that no space was 
left for any other matter. "Where," began this oration, "was 
caught the holy flame which warms and animates the oppressed 
Greek? From America, were wafted on the wings of heaven, 
those sacred truths contained in the Declaration of Independ- 
ence." 42 Praise of the free elections of the Republic furnished 
another candidate a similar theme. "The time, Fellow Citizens, 
is now at hand, when as men breathing the air and treading 
the soil of liberty, with none to molest or make you afraid you 
must again go forth to the polls. . . ." 43 The editor of the 
Greensborough Patriot condemned this interminable "shouting 
of liberty," which he scorned as being nothing more than a fig 
leaf to hide the candidate's naked failure to provide a positive 
program for the public good. 44 This same paper condemned in 
a verse, more distinguished in feeling than in technical perfec- 
tion, the whole "hobby" technique of electioneering. 

Our candidates, some hobby ride, 
Like the boy his cow astride, 
Some dogma use to gain affection, 
If they can find the favorite toast, 
They use anything almost, 
To gain their election. 45 

41 Greensborough Patriot, August 29, 1832. 

42 Broadsides, no date, 1823. 

An Greensborough Patriot, August 29, 1832. 

44 Greensborough Patriot, July 25, 1832. 

45 Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1830. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 181 

Some candidates made no promise to the voter beyond the 
assurance that they would use their own judgment in promoting 
the general welfare. They felt that it was the representative's 
duty to be independent and to remain free of his constituents' 
influence on specific issues. William Lenoir let the voters know 
that he would "make no promis [sic] to serve them if Elected 
but would do what I [he] thought was right." 46 Jesse Slocumb, 
in 1819, was no less independent when his only promise to the 
public was to do "what shall appear to me the best interest of 
our country." 47 

These statements were diametrically opposed to another theory 
common at the time — the instruction of candidates. According 
to this idea, the voter should decide all matters of policy, and 
the office seeker should make known his will. 48 

In any event, the character of the candidate and the confidence 
that he could inspire were doubtless of more importance than 
any specific platform he might adopt. Personal popularity and 
integrity were vital factors in the campaign. The editor of the 
Hillsborough Recorder, speaking of an election in 1823, observed 
that "the comparative merit of the two gentlemen . . . was 
the pivot on which the contest turned." 49 

With the emphasis thus focused on the character of the can- 
didate, it was natural that the politician of the day often sought 
to raise himself in the voter's estimation by degrading his op- 
ponent. This tendency was deplored by a candidate who reported, 
"Scarcely had my name been announced when the ever ready 
tongue of slander began its worthy work." 50 This experience 
was evidently typical, for an editor of the time stated, "A seat 
in the legislature can not be obtained without wading belly-deep 
in falsehood, slander and vituperation." 51 

Specific cases show that a wide variety of improprieties were 
alleged in these attacks. A candidate, in 1812, was accused of 
disloyalty to the federal government. 52 A congressman, seeking 
re-election in 1816, had to deny the charge that he advocated 

48 Green, "Electioneering 1802 Style," 244. 

47 Broadsides, June 10, 1819. 

48 Broadsides, July 4, 1831. An interesting contemporary discussion of this question of 
the relation between the representatives and the people is found in John Augustine Smith, 
Syllabus of the Lectures Delivered to the Senior Students in the College of William and, 
Mary, on Government (Philadelphia, 1817), 32-47. 

49 Hillsborough Recorder, September 10, 1823. 

50 Greensborough Patriot, July 25, 1832. 

51 Greensborough Patriot, August 29, 1832. 

52 Carolina Federal Republican, August 29, 1812. 

182 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a raise in pay for representatives. 53 A statesman who had 
succeeded in gaining re-election on several occasions was branded 
a professional politician, whose only motive was self-advance- 
ment, while candidates just entering politics were scorned be- 
cause of their lack of experience. 54 In another instance, the 
voters were warned of the general incompetence of a candidate 
who was "too stupid to write and too cowardly to fight." 55 

An exchange, typical of the charge and countercharge which 
this method evoked, took place in 1834 between David Worth 
and an unnamed opponent who operated a grog shop. Worth 
stated that his opponent's place of business had "aptly been 
compared to hell itself." The dispenser of drinks replied by 
saying that Worth was the shop's most faithful customer and 
sought there the "fluid with which he kept his body constantly 
electrified." Worth contradicted this charge and asserted that 
no respectable white man would patronize an establishment 
which catered to the lowest class of Negroes. 56 

In some instances, even an apparently flawless character did 
not afford the candidate immunity from criticism by his oppo- 
sition. For example, a candidate, in 1830, stated, "It is perfectly 
out of all character for a man who has no other claims upon 
your confidence than those of honesty, promptness and fidelity, 
to remain in office forever." 57 

Perhaps, the most damaging misinformation that a candidate 
could spread was the rumor that his opponent had withdrawn 
from the race. The newspapers frequently ran circulars in which 
candidates frantically protested that they did choose to run 
and were still in the race. 58 For maximum effectiveness, this, 
and other especially damaging accusations, were generally re- 
served until shortly before the election. The voter might doubt 
the truth of the indictment, but would not have time to verify 
his opinion before casting his ballot. The candidates, well aware 
of this situation, made every effort to turn it to their own ad- 
vantage. 59 The air of election day was often filled with incrim- 
ination and recrimination. Falsehood, base calumnies, sneaking 

53 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, July 25, 1816. 
64 Broadsides, August 3, 1833. 

55 Carolina Federal Republican, July 17, 1813. 

56 Broadsides, August 13, 1834. 

67 Greensborough Patriot, July 28, 1830. 

58 Carolina Observer and Fayetteville Gazette, August 5, 1824. 

59 Norton, The Democratic Party, 29. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 183 

insinuations, and vulgar abuse "either privately circulated in 
whispers or thrown out with dashing effrontery at the moment 
of election" were a part of the usual election scene. 60 Apparently, 
this situation continued to exist throughout the entire period, 
for an observer, in 1812, declared that this deplorable state of 
affairs, as just described, had so long been in use as to be 
commonplace. As late as 1830 a candidate complained of the 
same sort of last-minute attack. "I do not say that he intended 
by this late maneuvre, to take any advantage ; but I must confess 
I cannot see any other object he can have." 61 Anticipation was 
the only defense against such eleventh-hour attacks, and often 
both sides came to the election well supplied with countercharges 
and refutations designed to meet any eventuality. 

The practice of dealing in personalities was thoroughly re- 
prehensible to many public-spirited citizens who subjected it to 
vigorous attack. One critic ran a satirical advertisement which 
stated, "Our machinery can be turned to the manufacture of 
falsehoods, suited to the peculiar situation, prospects and neces- 
sities of each candidate. Any who wish a supply wholesale or 
retail apply to No. 6950-Tattle Row Greensborough." 62 

Objections to dealing in personalities did not eradicate the 
evil, and candidates met the situation by devising special tech- 
niques in addition to the usual denials. One of those was the 
distribution of circulars containing short, signed statements by 
witnesses who vouched for the integrity of the candidate, and 
upheld his innocence of specific charges made against him. 
Henry Tillman, a candidate in 1812, was defended by four 
witnesses who denied the accuracy of derogatory reports about 
his political ideals. 63 D. G. Rae, accused of beating a boathand 
with an oar, had five witnesses to testify, "We have never known 
him to strike with a stick, switch, or other weapon, any white 
man in his employ at any time." 64 Evidently, integrity rather 
than literacy was the prime requisite of the compurgators for, 
in some instances, they signed with an X. e5 

60 Carolina Federal Republican, August 29, 1812. 

61 Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1830. 

62 Greensborough Patriot, July 25, 1832. 

63 Carolina Federal Republican, August 22, 1812. 

64 Broadsides, July 23, 1836. 

65 Broadsides, August 3, 1840. No candidate was able to gather for his testimonial the 
distinguished array of witnesses claimed by Beckwith's Anti-Dyspeptic Pills for the "cure 
of almost every variety of functional disorder. . . ." This panacea was recommended 
by three preachers, a bishop, a governor, a state treasurer, and even a professor. Raleigh 
Star and North Carolina Gazette, November 19, 1835. 

184 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Important as printed matter was in the conduct of a campaign, 
it is probable that the office seeker's chief reliance was in direct 
meetings with the people. The candidate in this personal contact 
with the voter fostered his cause chiefly by the use of "flowery 
speeches and free liquor." 66 Such accounts of speeches as are 
available show that the candidates usually made the same type 
of appeal to the voter which is revealed in the broadsides. There 
was widespread agreement as to the effectiveness of political 
oratory or speaking "on the fence," as it was then called. 67 
Thomas Clingman urged Willie P. Mangum to leave the United 
States Senate long enough to aid in a local campaign, declaring, 
"Half a dozen speeches at dinners would get a majority." 68 
Mangum, himself, attributed his narrow victory in the Con- 
gressional race of 1825 to a rainstorm which prevented his 
eloquent opponent from delivering the last speech of the 
campaign. 69 The zeal with which some candidates employed this 
method was illustrated by Josiah Crudup, a minister who, ac- 
cording to his opponent, electioneered from the stump six days 
a week and from the pulpit on the seventh day, winning more 
votes in his Sunday sermon than in the rest of the week com- 
bined. 70 Occasionally, the lay candidates took advantage of the 
opportunity for electioneering which the gathering of a Sunday 
congregation afforded, and mixed the things of Caesar with 
those of God. D. L. Barringer, on one occasion, made such un- 
restrained statements, at the Spring at Hepzibah meeting house, 
that his opponent challenged him to a duel. 71 As a general thing, 
the speaking campaign was carried on not only at church, but 
also at musters, court days, and on any other occasions where 
a crowd might be gathered. 72 

Speechmaking became a campaign issue in some cases. Some 
candidates made it a point to refrain from oratory, asserting 
that as plain honest farmers they were unaccustomed to public 
speaking. Others, however, built their whole campaigns around 
speaking tours on which they delivered memorized orations 
which they "let off like hail on sheepskin." 73 

66 Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1830. 

67 "On the fence" was the equivalent of the present-day term "stump speaking." Green 
"Electioneering 1802 Style," 243«. 

68 Mangum Papers, Boyd, Life of Mangum, unfinished manuscript, Ch. V, 17. 

69 Boyd, Life of Mangum, Ch. IV, 8. 

70 Boyd, Life of Mangum, Ch. IV, 8. 

71 Boyd, Life of Mangum, Ch. IV, 4. 

72 Broadsides, June 25, 1838. 

™ Greenaborough Patriot, August 29, 1832. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 185 

The importance of stump speaking as a campaigning method 
was attested by the various techniques which were developed to 
prevent its effective use by the opposition. One candidate, for 
example, complained that his opponents would ride as far as 
twenty miles to break up meetings at which he spoke. Various 
methods were developed, he reported, to accomplish this end. 
In one instance, as the speaker rose to his feet to begin his 
address, riders galloped up to the crowd and offered to bet five 
hundred dollars against his chances for election. Apparently, 
this tactic sorely tried the faith of some of the candidate's 
followers, and, consequently, had a disastrous effect on the morale 
of the meeting. 74 In another instance, a more subtle, and probably 
more effective, method was employed. Here, the rival partizans 
offered free whiskey to all who would come over to a barrel, 
set up just outside the range of the persuasive voice of the 
speaker. The orator took up the challenge and told his listeners 
to choose liquor or eloquence as their inclinations dictated. 75 
Unfortunately, no record exists as to the number selecting each 

Another technique used by the candidate to contact the public 
directly was a canvass of individual voters. The thoroughness 
with which this method was employed by one office seeker was 
indicated by the editorial observation: "We understand that he 
will not 'Electioneer' as he wishes to raise another crop before 
he dies and does not wish to ride his horse to death." 76 Another 
critic complained that the office seekers would not let the voters 
rest, and intruded "upon their time and patience with such a 
disgusting slang, as should make a dog howl in derision!" 77 
Few escaped these visitations, for it was not uncommon for a 
candidate to "scour every section of the country in search of 
votes." 78 

While the voters themselves might decry the importance of 
the canvass, the candidates professed to feel that it was a 
public service. G. Munford, seeking office in 1816, stated that 
he sought only to educate the public. He intended to "go through 
the district as much as I can, and . . . make candid disclosures 

7 ± Broadsides, July 30, 1833. 

75 Broadsides, July 30, 1833. 

76 Greensborough Patriot, July 24, 1833. 

77 Greensborough Patriot, July 19, 1834. 

78 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, August 30, 1816. 

186 The North Carolina Historical Review 

of my sentiments on all civil questions, civilly addressed." 79 This 
canvass of voters was probably a more rewarding method of 
campaigning than the broadside, for, from time to time, circulars 
were published in the newspapers, explaining that the candidate 
was advertising his candidacy in print only because he would 
be unable to see all of the voters personally. 80 He sometimes 
included in his broadside the explanation that he was doing his 
best to see each voter and to visit each muster ground; any 
failure to contact a voter would be the result of a lack of time 
rather than a lack of interest. 81 

The use of free liquor was a mainstay of electioneering 
throughout the period, despite the existence of a law forbidding 
the exchange of "treats" for votes. 82 One candidate in the cam- 
paign of 1816 distributed liquor with such a free hand that it 
was reported he had "drenched every muster ground with 
inspiring whiskey." 83 However, not every office seeker could 
afford the liquor necessary to float a whole campaign. Conse- 
quently, a more frequent and reliable use of this facility was 
to reserve it until the election day. John Stanley, a candidate 
in 1822, condemned and described this practice in the following 
words: "Who in his calm moments, can look without grief and 
shame, upon the picture of an election scene, in which the 
Candidate with his jug, and the voter with his glass, perhaps 
reeling together, belch forth their patriotism and fidelity?" 84 
Another candidate, who also viewed this situation with despair, 
declared that people would sell their votes, but he hoped that 
in time they would progress to a point where they would demand 
a higher price for their franchise than a drink of grog. 85 

Treating to gain votes became such a prevalent abuse that 
additional steps were taken to curb it. Despairing of succeeding 
in prohibiting the disposal of whiskey in exchange for votes, 
the law-makers of 1823 adopted what seemed a more practical 
approach. The period of election, formerly three days, was 
reduced to one. The longer period had been instituted in order 
to give all citizens an opportunity to get to the polls. However, 

79 Broadsides, 1816. 

80 Raleigh Standard, May 5, 1836. 

81 Broadsides, February 17, 1821; January 8, 1831; July 4, 1817. 

82 Haywood, Laws, 366, Law passed in 1801. 

83 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, August 30, 1816. 

84 Broadsides, July 24, 1822. 

85 Broadsides, July 24, 1822. 

Electioneering in North Carolina, 1800-1835 187 

experience showed that the extended period did not serve its 
purpose, and was merely an incitement to dissipation, intem- 
perance, and violence, with the result that "time and health 
were both squandered." 86 

Even this step did little to solve the problem, for seven 
years later a poet measured the effectiveness of electioneering 
in the following terms: 

For who can stoop, and treat the most 

Is very sure to rule the rest, 

And worst of all, the last dram, 

Turns the vote of a man, 

Whose vote was sold before we guess. 87 

Election day in a closely contested race was likely to be the 
scene of a desperate effort to win the deciding votes. Whisper 
campaigns, slanderous circulars, and free liquor, were only a 
few of the factors which frequently made an election "a wild 
affair." Voters might be bribed, dragged up to vote, threatened 
with law suits, and menaced with bodily violence. Prominent 
local citizens, not infrequently, spent the whole day on horseback 
electioneering among the free Negroes, and buying votes. 88 

Such elections must have been fairly common. One reason 
given for the abolition of the borough representation in 1835 
was the general disruption brought on by the annual election. 
One of the delegates to the convention declared that, in addition 
to feuds and bloodshed, "mechanics and others are excited by 
the parties interested in such elections, business is neglected, 
and the morals of the people corrupted." 89 

In conclusion, it appears that the candidates for state office 
in early nineteenth-century North Carolina adopted an ethical 
ideal of electioneering in which they recognized the desirability 
of freedom of choice on the part of the voter. However, it 
has been shown that in practice the candidates at times violated 
this standard. 

When the complaint is made today that our politicians are 
corrupt, callous of public good, and self-seeking, some comfort 
may be taken in the realization that this species of American 

86 Raleigh Register and North Carolina Gazette, August 15, 1823. 

87 Greensborough Patriot, August 11, 1830. 

88 Carolina Watchman, September 1, 1832. 

89 Proceedings and Debates of the Convention of North Carolina, 35, 36. 

188 The North Carolina Historical Review 

is not of recent origin. Candidates for public office were described 
as far back as 1804 as being "bold, impudent, and unprincipled 
demagogues." 90 Perhaps, there is some hope in the fact that 
it has been one hundred and forty years since Judge William 
Gaston opined that the candidates of his day were motivated 
by the selfish interest of "what will most contribute to the 
strength of our party," rather than by the true ideal of republi- 
can government of "what will best advance the interest of the 
country." 91 

w.Minerva, September 10, 1804. 
01 Broadsides, July 24, 1810. 

By Charles Grier Sellers, Jr. 

It is a singular fact that the two Presidents born in North 
Carolina and a third, whom the Old North State has always 
vigorously, if a bit dubiously, claimed, all arrived at the White 
House through careers in Tennessee. But at least one of the 
three, James K. Polk, had enough of North Carolina in his 
background to qualify as both "Tar Heel born" and "Tar Heel 

Sam Polk's oldest son was just eleven in the fall of 1806, 
when the family pulled up its roots in Mecklenburg County 
and made the trek across the mountains to settle on a farm in 
Maury County, Tennessee. A sickly lad, Jimmy did not take 
happily to the chores of the farm or to the arduous trips through 
the Tennessee wilderness with his surveyor father, when the 
boy was expected to take care of the pack horses and camp 
equipage and to prepare the meals. 1 He was continually bothered 
by grinding abdominal pains, which were eventually diagnosed 
as evidence of gallstone. When Jim was seventeen, Sam Polk 
took him 230 miles on horseback to Danville, Kentucky, for 
an operation by Doctor Ephraim McDowell, the pioneer surgeon 
in the West. Anesthesia and antisepsis were still unknown, but 
the operation was successful and brought about a miraculous 
transformation in the boy. Polk later acknowledged that but 
for McDowell he would never have amounted to much. 2 

As his vitality returned, however, Jim Polk showed no en- 
thusiasm for farm work or the rough outdoor life of a surveyor, 
and his father, finally despairing of his son's following in his 
own footsteps, placed him with a merchant to learn the business. 
But Jim's eyes were fixed on the grand and alluring career of 
a professional man, and after a few weeks in the store, his 
father yielded to his entreaties that he be allowed to go to 
school. 3 

1 John S. Jenkins, The Life of James K. Polk, Late President of the United States (Auburn, 
N. Y., 1850), 37-38. 

2 Samuel D. Gross, Lives of Eminent American Physicians and Surgeons of the Nineteenth 
Century (Philadelphia, 1861), 210-211, 221, 223, 229; Mary Young Ridenbaugh, The Biog- 
raphy of Ephraim McDowell, M. D., "The Father of Ovariotomy" (New York, 1890), 76-78; 
Archibald H. Barkley. Kentucky's Pioneer Lithotomists (Cincinnati, 1913), 38. 

3 [J. L. Martin,] "James K. Polk," United States Magazine and Democratic Review, II 
(1838), 199-200. 


190 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Polk had a good mind, but the training he had received 
was so meagre that at the age of eighteen he spelled badly and 
wrote in the worst style. 4 In July, 1813, he enrolled in the school 
at Zion Church, about three miles south of Columbia, the seat 
of Maury County. The school was taught by the Reverend 
Robert Henderson, one of the first Presbyterian preachers in 
that part of the country and a forthright and effective orator. 
Henderson had once won the respect of Andrew Jackson by 
preaching a sermon against cock-fighting to the general and a 
number of other prominent men who had gathered for a weekend 
of the sport. This was young Polk's first introduction to fash- 
ionable classical education; he commenced Latin grammar and 
for about a year "read the usual course of Latin Authors, part 
of the greek [sic] testament and a few of the dialogues of 
Lucian." 5 The whole experience was tonic in its effect. He was 
older than most of the scholars and worked indefatigably, mak- 
ing up for lost time. The teacher was not allowed to whip stu- 
dents, but once a week "Uncle Sam" Frierson, the patriarch of 
the community, came to the school, took wrongdoers down to the 

talked over their sins with them, and when necessary vigorously 
applied a birch from a nearby thicket. If such actions did not 
prove corrective "Uncle Sam" would proceed to pray over the 
misdoer long and loudly — something much more to be dreaded 
than three hard whippings. 6 

It is unlikely that Jim Polk ever required such treatment. 

Sam Polk was so impressed with his son's accomplishments 
that he agreed at the beginning of 1815 to send him to a more 
distinguished academy, conducted by another Presbyterian, 
Samuel P. Black, at the newly established town of Murfrees- 
borough, some fifty miles to the northeast. When Polk presented 
himself at the log building which housed the school, he was 
still small for his age. "His hair was much fairer and of lighter 
growth than it afterwards became. He had fine eyes, [and] 

4 Gross, Eminent American Physicians, 221. 

5 Certificate of Henderson, quoted in Eugene Irving McCormac, James K. Polk: A Political 
Biography (Berkeley, 1922), 3. See also Mary Wagner Highsaw, "A History of Zion Com- 
munity in Maury County, 1806-1860," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, V (1946), 113; A. V. 
Goodpasture, "The Boyhood of President Polk," Tennessee Historical Magazine, VII (1921), 
47; S. G. Heiskell, Andrew Jackson and Early Tennessee History (Nashville, 1920-1921), III, 

6 Quoted in Highsaw, "Zion Community," 113. 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 191 

was neat in appearance." 7 He boarded with a family in town 
and worked hard at 

English Grammar the Latin and Greek languages, Arithmetic, 
the most useful branches of the Mathematics, Geography, 
Natural and Moral Philosophy, Astronomy, Belles-letters [sic], 
Logic, and such other useful and ornamental branches of Litera- 
ture. 8 

The school term was closed in October with an "exhibition," at 
which the students delivered orations and acted in portions 
of plays. Polk showed "the finest capacity for public speaking," 
— he had probably learned more than Latin grammar from 
Parson Henderson — and a spectator remarked that he was "much 
the most promising young man in the school." 9 

Such was young Polk's progress at Murfreesboro that in less 
than a year he felt ready to enter college. It was only natural 
that he should choose the University of North Carolina, where 
his cousin, Colonel William Polk, was one of the most active 
trustees. Arriving at Chapel Hill in the fall of 1815, he was 
examined by the faculty on Latin and Greek grammar, Caesar's 
Commentaries, Sallust, Virgil, Mair's Introduction, ten chapters 
of Saint John's Gospel in Greek, and Murray's English Grammar. 
On the basis of this examination, he was given credit for all 
the freshman and half the sophomore work and was admitted 
to the sophomore class when the second term opened in January, 
1816. 10 This is striking evidence of his intelligence and of the 
assiduity with which he had pursued his studies in the two and 
a half years since he had commenced them under Parson 

The University of North Carolina was the same age as Polk 
himself. Its early years had been neither prosperous nor dis- 
tinguished, and in 1815 it had a faculty of only five. The Reverend 
Robert Chapman was president, but the real leader of the insti- 
tution was the Professor of Mathematics, Doctor Joseph Cald- 

7 Samuel H. Laughlin, "Sketches of Notable Men," Tennessee Historical Magazine, IV 
(1918), 77-78. See also Thomas B. Wilson, "Reminiscences of the Civil War," Tennessee 
Historical Quarterly, V (1946), 93-94; C. C. Henderson, The Story of Murfreesboro (Mur- 
freesboro, Tenn., 1929), 27-29; Nashville Whig, Oct. 25, 1814. 

8 Certificate of Samuel P. Black, Stanley F. Horn, ed., "Holdings of the Tennessee Histori- 
cal Society: Young James K. Polk's Credentials," Tennessee Historical Quarterly, IV (1945), 

9 Laughlin, "Sketches of Notable Men," 77-78. 

10 The Laws of the University of North-Carolina. As Revised in 1813 (Hillsborough, N. C, 
1822), 5. (Hereafter referred to as U. N. C. Laws.) 

192 The North Carolina Historical Review 

well, who was, like Chapman, a Presbyterian clergyman. In 
addition there was a senior tutor, William Hooper, later to be 
Professor of Languages, and two other tutors, recently graduated 
students, who lived in the dormitories, tried to keep order, and 
taught the lower classes. There were eighty students at the 
beginning of 1816, the number rising to ninety-one by the end 
of the year. 11 

However poor in some respects, the University had a mag- 
nificent situation, lying on a great ridge rising out of piedmont 
North Carolina, some thirty miles west-northwest of the capital 
at Raleigh. The whole countryside was heavily forested, cool, 
clear springs ran from the slopes around the sides of the emi- 
nence, and from Point Prospect, a promontory at its eastern 
end, one could look off for miles toward the coastal plain. The 
University buildings were set upon the highest point of the 
broad and gently rolling plain which was the top of the ridge. 
Old East, a two-story dormitory with sixteen rooms, had been 
constructed in 1795. At right angles to it was the recently com- 
pleted Main Building (now South Building) , a more pretentious 
structure with three floors and a cupola and containing class- 
rooms, library, society rooms, and dormitory rooms. Stretching 
northward from the Main Building was the "Grand Avenue," 
a wide park of oaks and hickories with natural undergrowth. 
At the far end, some three hundred yards away, ran the main 
street of the straggling village of Chapel Hill, and hidden in 
the woods beyond was the small frame building which housed 
the University's preparatory school. Directly across the Grand 
Avenue from Old East stood the small, plain chapel, and in the 
opposite direction was the large, frame Steward's Hall, where 
many of the students ate their meals. Beyond the Steward's 
Hall and toward the east, another broad, cleared avenue ran 
along the Raleigh road to Point Prospect, affording a vista over 
the plain beyond. The tiny village itself had only thirteen houses, 
two stores, and a tavern. 12 

11 Treasurer's Accounts, November 20, 1816, University of North Carolina Papers (Southern 
Historical Collection, University of North Carolina), hereafter referred to as U. N. C. Papers; 
University of North Carolina, Minutes of the Trustess, 1811-1822, MS. vol. (North Carolina 
Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina), 153, 159. 

12 Archibald Henderson, The Campus of the First State University (Chapel Hill, 1949), 15, 
25n, 42-43, 45, 60, 65; William D. Moseley to Professor Elisha Mitchell, August 15. 1853, Uni- 
versity of North Carolina, Letters, 1796-1835, MS. vol. (North Carolina Collection, Library 
of the University of North Carolina). 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 193 

From its earliest years the infant university had been under 
strong Presbyterian influences and had tried to model itself 
upon Princeton. It was ordained that a student who denied the 
being of God or the divine authority of the Christian religion 
should be dismissed, and the entire student body was examined 
periodically on the Bible. 13 The bell on top of the Main Building 
was rung at six in the morning, and fifteen minutes later another 
bell summoned to morning prayers in the Chapel ; prayers were 
held again at five in the afternoon, and on Sunday students 
were required to attend public worship clad in "neat black 
gowns." The bell was rung again at eight at night in the winter 
and nine in the summer, after which students were supposed 
to repair to their rooms for study. The year was divided into 
two terms, with vacations between, one of a month during 
December, and the other of six weeks in the summer. Each 
term was concluded by a public examination, the one in Novem- 
ber by the faculty and the one at commencement in June by 
a committee of the trustees. In addition to their regular studies, 
the students were required to give orations following evening 
prayers, two or more each evening as their names came up 
alphabetically, and seniors were required to deliver two original 
orations during the year, one of them at commencement. 14 Tuition 
was $10 and later $15 a term, and room rent was $1. 15 

Polk's health was still feeble, but he threw himself with his 
usual energy into the sophomore studies 16 — Cicero's Select Ora- 
tions, Xenophon's Cyropoedia, Homer, geography, arithmetic, 
and Murray's Grammar. The classics were less important after 
July, when he entered upon the junior course — elements of 
geometry, algebra, trigonometry, logarithms, mensuration, select 
parts of the classics, and the inevitable Murray's Grammar. 17 
The extensive training in mathematics was given by Doctor 
Caldwell, while William Hooper, "tall and erect, polished in 
manners, gentle in disposition, and a ripe scholar," a rigid 
disciplinarian, 18 was responsible for the classical work. Caldwell 

13 U. N. C. Laws, 10; University of North Carolina, Reports from the Faculty to the 
Trustees, MS. vol. (North Carolina Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina), 
December 6, 1816. 

14 V. N. C. Laws, 4, 7-8, 10, 17-18; U. N. C. Trustee Minutes, 131-132. 

15 U. N. C. Laws, 16; U. N. C. Trustee Minutes, 154. 

16 John Y. Mason, Address before the Alumni Association of the University of North Caro- 
lina, Delivered in Gerard Hall, June 2, 1847. The Evening Preceding Commencement Day 
(Washington, 1847), 7. 

» U. N. C. Laws, 5. 

18 Edward J. Mallett, Address to the Graduating Class at the University of North Carolina, 
at Commencement, June 2d, 1881 (Raleigh, 1881), 3. 

194 The North Carolina Historical Review 

had composed his own geometry text, which was then copied in 
manuscript by the students. The copies were, of course, filled 
with errors. 

But this was a decided advantage to the junior, who stuck to 
his text, without minding his diagram. For, if he happened to 
say the angle at A was equal to the angle at B, when, in fact 
the diagram showed no angle at B at all, but one at C, if Dr. 
Caldwell corrected him, he had it always in his power to say: 
"Well, that was what I thought myself, but it ain't so in the 
book, and I thought you knew better than I." We may well 
suppose that the Dr. was completely silenced by this unexpected 
argumentum ad hominem. You see how good a training our 
youthful junior was under, by a faithful adherence to his text, 
to become a "strict constructionist" of the constitution, when 
he should ripen into a politician. 19 

At the semiannual examination in November it was found that 
"James K. Polk and William Moseley are the best scholars" in 
the class, and the entire class was highly approved. 20 

The course of study in the final year was natural and moral 
philosophy, chronology, select parts of the Latin and Greek 
classics, and, again, Murray's Grammar. 21 At the midyear ex- 
amination this time, the faculty was able to pronounce 

only a general sentence of approbation. Distinctions might be 
made in scholarship, but it would be difficult [to know] at what 
point to stop. They are all approved. And this class is especially 
approved on account of the regular moral, and exemplary de- 
portment of its members as students of the university. 22 

The faculty was strengthened in the second half of Polk's 
senior year by the addition of Elisha Mitchell, fresh from Yale, 
as professor of mathematics. Polk was "passionately fond" of 
this subject, and under Professor Mitchell his was the first 
class at the University to study such advanced geometry as conic 
sections. The class was unfortunate in just missing the teaching 
of Denison Olmstead, another Yale man, who had been hired 
along with Mitchell to teach chemistry but who stayed at New 
Haven for an additional year of advanced study under Benjamin 
Silliman before coming to Chapel Hill. 23 

19 William Hooper, Fifty Years Since: An Address, Delivered before the Alumni of the 
University of North-Carolina, on the 7th of June, 1859. (Being the Day before the Annual 
Commencement) (Raleigh, 1859), 23. 

20 U. N. C. Faculty Reports, December 5, 1816. 

21 U. N. C. Laws, 5-6. 

22 U. N. C. Faculty Reports, January 4, 1818. 

28 U. N. C. Trustee Minutes, 145; W. D. Moseley to Professor Elisha Mitchell, August 15, 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 195 

As in most colleges at that time, much of the important train- 
ing was received outside the classroom, through the "literary 
societies." At Chapel Hill most of the students were members 
of either the Dialectic or the Philanthropic Society, between 
which there was the keenest rivalry. Polk became a member of 
the former during his first term. 24 The societies met weekly in 
their own halls in the Main Building, with a topic arranged for 
debate at each meeting. Each member was required to participate 
in the debates every other week and to present compositions at 
the alternate meetings. The best compositions were filed in the 
society archives, eight of Polk's being so honored, two of which 
are still extant. 

The first of these, written in 1817, an argument against "The 
Admission of Foreigners into Office in the United States," was 
filled with the spread-eagle patriotism characteristic of the 
expanding America which emerged from the War of 1812. Polk 
feared that foreigners would be imbued with aristocratic or 
monarchical ideas, or that they would try to establish a state 
church. Nor did he show much faith in the ability of the people 
to make correct decisions. So soon as foreign influence insinuates 
itself into the favor of a credulous populace, he said, "party 
is established and faction is founded, yes, faction, that destroyer 
[of] social happiness and good order in society, that monster 
that has sunk nations in the vortex of destruction." 25 Twenty 
years later Polk would have thought such a sentiment clear 
evidence that its author was either an aristocrat or a Bank 
hireling, but in 1817 government was entrusted by almost com- 
mon consent to Republican elder statesmen, and parties were 
often considered not only unnecessary but highly dangerous. 

The second composition, an effusion of schoolboy enthusiasm 
"On the Powers of Invention," reflects all the winds of thought 
which blew upon students at Chapel Hill in the early nineteenth 
century. Based on John Locke's analysis of human psychology, 
it showed that Doctor Caldwell's lectures on "moral philosophy" 

1853, U. N. C. Letters. 

24 University of North Carolina, Dialectic Society, Minute Book, 1812-1818, MS. vol. (North 
Carolina Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina), January 25, 1816. 

25 Composition of James K. Polk, University of North Carolina, Dialectic Society, Addresses 
of the Dialectic Society, First Series, MS, Vol. IV, P to Y (North Carolina Collection, Library 
of the University of North Carolina). There is a "List of Compositions and Addresses now 
in the Archives of the Dialectic Society" in University of North Carolina, Dialectic Society, 
Temporary Laws, Etc., 1818, MS. vol. (North Carolina Collection, Library of the University 
of North Carolina), which lists eight Polk compositions, only two of which seem to have 

196 The North Carolina Historical Review 

had left a strong impress of the Age of Reason on his hearers. 
Polk's theme was a profound faith in the powers of human 
reason and an ecstatic view of man's progress, through reason, 
from ignorance and superstition to where "he sits enthroned on 
the pinnacles of fame's proud temple." But by 1817 reason had 
its limits, and the youthful writer regrets that the noble works 
of invention have been "basely used by a Paine a Hume and a 
Bolinbroke [sic'} as the harbinger of infidelity." The influence 
of romantic thought was also beginning to be felt, and the 
romantic hero appears : "St. Helena blooms with nature's richest 
production wafted to her shore by the winds of adversity and 
though fallen yet noble, debased yet acting with philosophical 
composure." Romanticism is even more evident in the full-blown 
style and bombastic exaggeration, characteristics which are in 
striking contrast with everything else Polk is known to have 
said or written. The composition closes with an apostrophe to 
America, which is forging ahead of Europe "under the happy 
auspices of an equilibrium in government." 26 

The Dialectic Society was strict in enforcing its rules, attend- 
ance was required, and Polk was a half dozen times among those 
fined for absence. He was also penalized a number of times 
for "irregularity" and once for "gross irregularity." Whether 
these fines were levied for keeping library books out too long, 
spitting tobacco juice on the floor, or for some other impropriety 
has not been determined, but they do dissipate the myth of 
Polk, the superhumanly correct student, who never failed in 
the punctual performance of every duty. The debates at Society 
meetings were often hotly contested, and one evening a member 
was fined ten cents for using threatening language to James K. 
Polk, and Polk was fined a like sum for replying. 

Many of the debates were on questions with which Polk had 
to deal in his later public career. The record for the evening 
of his admission to the Society unfortunately does not show 
whether Polk voted or argued on the side of the negative ma- 
jority on the question, "Would an extension of territory be an 
advantage to the U. S.?" The decision was again negative on, 
"Would it be justifiable in the eyes of the world for the United 
States to assist Spanish America in deffence [sic] of their 

26 Ten-page MS. in Polk's hand, Dialectic Addresses. 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 197 

liberty?" On still another occasion, after "warm and animated 
debate," it was decided that the practice of law is congenial to 
the pure precepts of Christianity. Polk's later views triumphed 
in the debate over, "Ought a representative to exercise his own 
judgment or act according to the directions of his constituents ?" 
when the decision was in favor of the latter. These aspiring 
politicians also decided that the life of a statesman was prefer- 
able to that of a warrior. But not all the questions were so 
serious, as witness, "Is an occasional resort to female company 
beneficial to students?" the outcome of which may well be 
imagined. 27 

Each of the two societies had a library superior to the Uni- 
versity's meagre stock of books. To the Dialectic collection of 
1,623 volumes, Polk contributed a set of "Gibbon's Rome," 
"Williams' France," "Darwin's Memoirs," "Addison's Evi- 
dences," and John H. Eaton's recent biography of Jackson. The 
interest in history indicated here is shown also by the frag- 
mentary record of books taken from the University library, 
which indicates that Polk borrowed Gibbon's Rome and one of 
David Ramsay's works on the American Revolution. 28 Among 
its innumerable activities, the Di also included philanthropy; 
the members taxed themselves two dollars per term for a loan 
for the education of one of their fellows who seems to have had 
no other means of support. 29 

Polk was an active leader in the society. He served two 
monthly terms as treasurer and held other offices, principally 
secretary and chairman of the executive committee. 30 At the 
end of his junior year he was elected president of the society, 
and the following spring was chosen for a second term, a 
mark of respect without precedent. 31 This mark of confidence 

27 Dialectic Minutes, January 25, 1816-May 20, 1818, passim; University of North Carolina, 
Dialectic Society, Committee Minutes, 1816-1824, MS. vol. (North Carolina Collection, Library 
of the University of North Carolina), February 24, 1817. 

28 Catalogue of Books Belonging to the Dialectic Society, Chapel-Hill, February, 1821 
(Hillsborough, N. C, 1821), 4; Dialectic Minutes, October 16, 1816; University of North 
Carolina, "Library Books Borrowed, August 26, 1817-March 25, 1819," MS. bound with Uni- 
versity Demerit Roll, October 26, 1838-September 18, 1840, MS. vol. (North Carolina Col- 
lection, Library of the University of North Carolina). 

29 University of North Carolina, Dialectic Society, Treasurer's Individual Accounts, 1811- 
1818, MS. vol. (North Carolina Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina), 

30 University of North Carolina, Dialectic Society, Treasurer's Book, 1807-1818, MS. vol. 
(North Carolina Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina), August, 1816, and 
March, 1817, for Polk's accounts as treasurer; his individual accounts with the Society are in 
Dialectic Individual Accounts, 1811-1818, 221, 260, 307, and University of North Carolina, 
Dialectic Society, Treasurer's Individual Accounts, 1818-1821, MS. vol. (North Carolina Col- 
lection, Library of the University of North Carolina), 29; Dialectic Committee Minutes, 
August, 1816-March, 1818, passim. 

81 Dialectic Minutes, May 8, 1817, and April 29, 1818. 

198 The North Carolina Historical Review 

may have been the result of Polk's efforts to preserve the honor 
of the society by pushing the impeachment of a member accused 
of stealing some tongs and a shovel from another member, 
letting himself "be publickly kicked in one of the passages of 
the main building . . . without making any honorable resist- 
ance," charging $25 worth of books to the Society and then 
presenting them to the Society as his own gift, leaving Chapel 
Hill without paying his debts, claiming to have a large estate 
with the intention "of imposing himself upon some too credulous 
one of the female sex," and permitting himself to be called a 
liar without doing anything "to vindicate his character." Polk 
industriously collected evidence against the villain, who was 
expelled by a unanimous vote of the Society. 32 

Polk's second inaugural address, on "Eloquence," shows that 
he already had an eye to politics. You may, he told his listeners, 

be called upon to succeed those who now stand up the represen- 
tatives of the people, to wield by the thunder of your eloquence 
the council of a great nation and to retain by your prudent 
measures that liberty for which our fathers bled. It may be a 
delusive phantom that plays before my imagination, but my 
reason tells me it is not. For why may we not expect talents in 
this seminary in proportion to the number of youths which it 
fosters, and with the advantages which have been named may we 
not expect something more than ordinary. But even if it were 
visionary I would delight to dwell for a moment upon the 
pleasing hope. . . . Although our body resembles what Rhe- 
toricians would term a miscellaneous assembly your proficiency 
in extemporaneous debating will furnish you with that fluency 
of language, that connexion of ideas and boldness of delivery 
that will be equally serviceable in the council, in the pulpit and 
at the bar. 

That his own technique was already well developed is indicated 
by his further remarks: 

I cannot but remark two very fatal and opposite faults that 
prevail in the exercises in debating that are exhibited in this 
body. The one is looseness of preperation [sic] before assembling 
in this Hall. The other is writing and memorizing your exhibi- 
tions in which there is often too much attention paid to the 
elegance of language and too little to the ideas conveyed by it. 
The former so far from making you fluent and bold, will only 

32 Hardy L. Holmes to James K. Polk, November 12, 1817, "James H. Simeson's Impeach- 
ment & Expulsion, January 21st 1818," Dialectic Society Papers (Southern Historical Col- 
lection, University of North Carolina). 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 199 

tend to corrupt language and embarrass your address. The latter 
will make you timorous and unprepared to engage in an un- 
foreseen discussion. A due degree of attention should be given 
to the subject under consideration. The several heads upon 
[which] you mean to touch should be distinctly arranged in 
the memory, but the language in which your ideas are expressed 
should not be elaborate, but that which is suggested at the 
moment of delivery when the mind is entirely engrossed by the 
subject which it is considering. The attention of your hearers 
will not then be diverted from the merits of the question by the 
studied metaphors and flowers of language. 33 

Such a concept of forensic technique was not very common in 
the nineteenth century and indicates a bold and original mind. 
Polk's assiduity in applying and developing it in the debates of 
the Society and later were to make him a formidable foe on 
the stump in Tennessee and in the give and take of the House 
of Representatives. It would have been hard to improve on the 
Dialectic Society as a school for statesmanship. 

Many of Polk's fellow students did indeed rise to eminence. 
William D. Moseley, with whom he roomed on the third floor 
of Main Building, later became governor of Florida. In after 
years he recalled to Polk the "many tedious and laborious hours" 
they had spent together, "attempting to discover the beauties 
of Cicero and Homer and the less interesting amusements of 
quadratic equations and conic sections." 34 John Y. Mason, who 
later became a United States Senator from Virginia and a 
member of Polk's cabinet, graduated during Polk's first year 
at Chapel Hill, while John M. Morehead, subsequently governor 
of North Carolina, was in the class ahead of Polk. In his own 
class of fourteen there were, besides himself and Moseley, a 
future Bishop of Mississippi, William Mercer Green, the first 
president of Davidson College, Robert Hall Morrison, and a 
president of the North Carolina senate, Hugh Waddell. William 
H. Haywood, to be a United States Senator from North Carolina, 
was among the younger boys at Chapel Hill in Polk's time. 35 

Life at "the Hill" was not all serious, however. Much of the 
time was spent in sports, excursions through the surrounding 

33 MS. in Dialectic Addresses. 

34 William D. Moseley to James K. Polk, November 29, 1832, James K. Polk Papers (Di- 
vision of Manuscripts, Library of Congress); William D. Moseley to Professor Elisha Mitchell, 
August 15, 1853, U. N. C. Letters. 

35 "Catalogue of Students (copied by Wm. D. Moseley)," U. N. C. Letters; Catalogus 
Universitatis Carolinae Septentrionalis (Raleigh, 1817), 14-16; Kemp Plummer Battle, History 
of the University of North Carolina (Raleigh, 1907, 1912), I, 258-259. 

200 The North Carolina Historical Review 

forests, or deviltry. Playing ball against the walls of the buildings 
got to be such a nuisance that it had to be prohibited by the 
trustees. 36 Swimming in nearby ponds was a favorite in the sum- 
mer. Bandy, or shinny, the most popular game, was rough and 
dangerous. Hygiene and sport were combined at the "Twin 
Sisters/' two small brooks on the north slope of the campus, 
whose waters had been channelled so as to provide a natural 
shower bath. More exciting were midnight marauding and such 
standard college pranks as tying a cow to the bell or building 
rude fences across the village streets. President Caldwell was in 
the habit of making midnight excursions of his own and was so 
fleet of foot and adept in the apprehension of wrong-doers that he 
was dubbed "Diabolus," usually shortened to "Bolus." Youthful 
energy occasionally got completely out of hand, as in 1817 when 
the trustees were so infuriated by "the late outrages on the build- 
ings of the University & grove," that they ordered the faculty 
to prosecute the offenders in the courts. 37 

It is doubtful whether Polk's health permitted him to engage 
in the more strenuous diversions, but he got abundant exercise 
in the walk of a mile or more down a long, steep hill to the farm- 
house in the valley north of the village where he took his meals 
during a part of his stay. 38 There were also vacation excursions 
with Moseley and others to Raleigh, where the boys stayed at the 
home of Colonel William Polk, and probably, also, visits to the 
homes of classmates during the longer summer recesses. 39 

The most stirring event which occurred during Polk's residence 
at Chapel Hill was the rebellion of 1816. College life in those days 
exhibited a perpetual warfare between the students and their 
preceptors. Even the punctilious Polk had advised his fellows 
to "stoop not from the true principles of honor to gain the favour 
of the Faculty and thus succeed in your views of promotion." 40 
President Chapman had been an opponent of the War of 1812, 
and the University had long been suspected in the state of being 

38 Resolution of the Trustees, December 6, 1817, U. N. C. Papers. 

87 Resolution of the Trustees [December, 1817,] U. N. C. Papers. See also Henderson, 
Campus, 57, 110; Hooper, Fifty Years Since, 25-31; W. D. Moseley to Prof. E. Mitchell, August 
15, 1853, U. N. C. Letters. Caldwell had again become president of the University in 1816. 

38 William Hillyard to John Haywood and others, December 6, 1816, U. N. C. Papers; John 
D. Hawkins to John Y. Mason, April 17, 1847, photostatic copy (North Carolina Collection, 
Library of the University of North Carolina). 

39 William Hillyard to John Haywood and others, December 6, 1816, U. N. C. Papers; 
John D. Hawkins to John Y. Mason, April 17, 1847, photostatic copy (North Carolina 
Collection, Library of the University of North Carolina). 

40 James K. Polk, "Eloquence," MS. in Dialectic Addresses. 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 201 

under Federalist domination. One evening in September, 1816, 
after prayers, the customary oration was given by William B. 
Shepard. He had submitted his address, as was the rule, to Chap- 
man, who had made certain changes. But in delivering it, he 
defied the president and gave it as originally written. When 
ordered to sit down, he persisted, to the enthusiastic applause of 
the assembled student body. Afterwards there was "great noise 
and riot" in the dormitories for most of the night, and the next 
morning twenty-seven students, mostly members of the Philan- 
thropic Society, answered a call for a meeting in the Chapel to 
support Shepard. 

The harassed faculty retaliated at once. Shepard and two of 
his principal encouragers were suspended forthwith. Those pres- 
ent at the student meeting who would sign a recantation, among 
them William Moseley, were forgiven, but the rest were likewise 
suspended. Meanwhile the incident was becoming a state-wide 
political issue. The Republican papers denounced the tyranny of 
the faculty, while the Federalist organ printed Doctor Chap- 
man^ claim that he had ordered Shepard to delete only passages 
smacking of infidelity — though the bitter criticisms of Great 
Britain in the offensive passages were doubtless primarily re- 
sponsible for arousing the president's choler. The Phi Society, 
reduced to thirteen members by the suspensions, bitterly accused 
the Di men of promising to attend the student meeting then fail- 
ing to appear, a charge which was hotly denied. 

The students were outwardly cowed by the disciplinary meas- 
ures, but the explosion of a bomb, made of a brass doorknob, in 
front of the room of one of the tutors showed the depth of their 
resentment. And they eventually triumphed. The trustees, sensi- 
tive to public opinion, forced President Chapman to resign a few 
months later and replaced him with Doctor Caldwell. In the in- 
terest of discipline, though, they were finally forced to expel 
Shepard and the chief promoter of the student meeting. Six 
months later, with enrollment down to sixty, the University was 
still suffering from the effects of the incident. 41 

a Battle, U. N. C, I, 231, 235-239; John Patterson to Thomas T. Armstrong, September 24, 
1816, typed copy, and William M. Green to Martin W. B. Armstrong, October 17, 1816, 
typed copy, bound with U. N. C. Faculty Reports; Minerva (Raleigh), October 18, 1816; 
Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette, October 4, 1816; Thomas B. Slade to Alfred M. 
Slade, October 9, 1816, U. N. C. Papers; William Hooper to Walter Alves, March 6, 1817, 
copy, J. C. Norwood Papers (Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina); 
U. N. C. Trustee Minutes, 122, 133, 136. 

202 The North Carolina Historical Review 

On the last Wednesday in May, 1818, a committee of the 
trustees arrived in Chapel Hill to spend a week examining the 
students preparatory to commencement. 42 This annual event was 
one of the state's outstanding social occasions, and its high point 
for the students was the ball held in the dining room of the 
Steward's Hall. A member of the Class of 1818 later recalled : 

At commencement ball (when I graduated) my coat was broad- 
cloth of sea green color, high velvet collar to match, swallow tail, 
pockets outside, with lapels and large silver plated buttons ; white 
damask vest, snowing the edge of a blue undervest ; a wide open- 
ing for bosom ruffles, and no shirt collar. The neck was dressed 
with a layer of four or five cornered cravats, artistically laid and 
surmounted with a cambric stock, pleated and buckled behind. 
My pantaloons were white Canton crape, lined with pink muslin, 
and showed a peach blossom tint. They were rather short, in order 
to display flesh colored silk stockings ; and this exposure was in- 
creased by very low cut pumps, with shiny buckles. My hair was 
very black, very long and queued. I would be taken for a lunatic 
or a harlequin in such costume now. 43 

On the last day of the festivities, each senior delivered an 
oration in the chapel, and Polk, graduating with the "First 
Honor," gave the Latin Salutatory before a large company of the 
first men of the state. 44 Commencement was a proud occasion for 
Polk, but also part of it was the sadness of taking leave of good 
friends and pleasant associations; mementos were exchanged, 
Polk presenting his friend Moseley with a breast-pin which the 
latter cherished for years. 45 

Polk's precarious health had again been impaired by the pres- 
sure of studies and activities as his senior year drew to a close, 
so he did not return immediately to Tennessee, but spent a few 
months resting and visiting friends in North Carolina. He was 
doubtless in Chapel Hill for the wedding of one of his classmates 
two weeks after commencement and was back again in August, 
when he drew some books from the University library. Finally, 
in the fall, he turned homeward. 46 

It was only five years since Jim Polk had entered Parson Hen- 

42 Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette, May 1, 1818. 

43 Memoirs of Edward J. Mallett, a Birthday Gift for Each of His Children. May 1st, 1880 
(n. p., n. d.), 38-39. 

44 Battle, U. N. C, I, 258. 

^William D. Moseley to James K. Polk, December 1, 1830, Polk Papers. 
46 Raleigh Register and North-Carolina Gazette, June 19, 1818; "U. N. C. Library Books 
Borrowed," entries for August 15, 22, 1818; Goodpasture, "Boyhood of Polk," 48-49. 

Jim Polk Goes to Chapel Hill 203 

derson's little academy at Zion Church, and the young man had 
good reason to take pride in the industry and intelligence which 
in so short a time had brought the uncouth country boy to the 
head of the University's graduating class. These were the five 
years that had made the man, and of the five the latter ones, 
spent at Chapel Hill, had been by far the most important. 

By James M. Merrill 

It was late at night. Bursting with excitement, Postmaster 
General Montgomery Blair, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Gus- 
tavus Fox, and Major-General Benjamin F. Butler roused the 
White House watchman. Fifteen minutes later, President Lincoln 
"flew around the [Cabinet] room, . . . [his] night shirt . . . con- 
siderably agitated," and danced a jig with Fox, who had just in- 
formed him of the fall of Fort Hatteras. 1 About 4 :00 a. m. the 
following morning, August 31, 1861, the telegraph key at the 
headquarters of the Department of Virginia drummed out the 
official report: 

a glorious victory at Hatteras Inlet, [North Carolina] by the 
joint [army-navy] expedition under the command of Major Gen- 
eral Butler and Commodore [Silas] Stringham. . . . Many 
captured. . . . 2 

The Union North was shaken from its doldrums by the Bull 
Run defeat. Bands blared; whistles shrieked; crowds gathered. 
The Boston Journal termed the victory an entering wedge into 
the Confederacy ; the New York Herald described the exploit as 
a "splendid and decisive blow . . . which surpasses in importance 
anything yet accomplished against the enemy" ; the Philadelphia 
Public Ledger heralded the success as one of "the most important 
advantages yet gained by the Government." 3 In Washington, 
General Butler was led to the National Hotel where he bellowed 
to the crowd: "Oh, it was glorious to see . . . [the] arm of the 
Union stretched out against its rebellious children." 4 

In the Confederate South the scene was different. "The gleam 
of sunshine from Hatteras," observed a London Times corre- 
spondent, "has thrown a dark shadow across the South." 5 Public 
reaction varied. An irate Confederate Congress demanded in- 
telligence on the Hatteras collapse. 6 The Richmond Daily Dis- 

1 Benjamin F. Butler, Autobiography and Personal Reminiscences . . . (Boston, 1892), 288. 

2 Wool to Cameron, Fort Monroe, August 31, 1861, Jessie A. Marshall [editor]. Private 
and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler . . . (Norwood, 1917), I, 236. 

a Boston Journal, n. d., Frank Moore, ed., The Rebellion Record . . . (New York, 1862), III, 
24; New York Herald, n. d., quoted in Salem Register, September 5, 1861; and Public Ledger, 
(Philadelphia), September 2, 1861. 

4 Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 3, 1861. 

5 The Times (London), September 23, 1861. 

6 Resolution of Burton Craige (North Carolina), August 31, 1861, "Journal of the Congress 
of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865," Senate Document, No. 23k, 58 Cong., 2 

[204 ] 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 205 

patch admonished southerners for being spoiled by previous 
successes, while the Petersburg Express jested that no fresh 
water existed at Hatteras and "Old Butler will have to take his 
brandy and whiskey undiluted, and such as we have been in- 
formed he generaly uses, will speedily consume his vitals." 7 But 
the North Carolinians did not consider the defeat a jest. The 
House of Representatives was aghast; state officials scrambl- 
ed desperately to deflect blame; investigations began; tension 
heightened. 8 "The Yankee capture," fretted a Raleigh resident, 

amounts to this : The whole of the eastern part of the State is now 
exposed to the ravages of the merciless vandals. . . . [It] is now 
plunged into a great deal of trouble. . . . 9 

One Kentuckian jotted to Navy Secretary Gideon Welles that the 

has alarmed the Confeds more than anything yet that has been 
done. We have people continually coming from that direction, 
the South, who tell us that the alarm of such an expedition is 
raising the devil in all their sea ports and distracts them very 
much. 10 

The elation in the North over this first naval victory relieved 
the Navy Department from pressure, which had been continually 
mounting. At the outbreak of the Civil War the Union was 
caught unprepared: commissioned vessels were scattered from 
the Mediterranean to the South Pacific. Other ships were under- 
going extensive repairs. A Navy Department survey counted 
only twelve vessels in home waters, of which four were in north- 
ern ports ready for duty. 11 Without waiting for Congress to 

sess. (Washington, 1904), I, 456. Also see Davis to Cobb, Richmond, August 31, 1861, Official 
Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion (Washington, 
1897), ser. 1, VI, 137. (Hereafter cited as NOR. All Subsequent citations are series 1.) 

7 Daily Dispatch (Richmond), August 31, 1861; and Express (Petersburg, Virginia), n. d., 
quoted in Sacramento Daily Union, October 1, 1861. 

8 Clark to Dortch, Raleigh, September 5, 1861, North Carolina, Governor, Capture of Hat- 
teras . . . [Raleigh, 1861], 3-4; Winslow to Clark, Raleigh, September 6, 1861, North Carolina, 
Governor, Capture of Hatteras, 7; Morris to Winslow, Raleigh, September 5, 1861, North 
Carolina, Governor, Capture of Hatteras, 12. Also see Standard (Raleigh), August 31, 1861, 
quoted in Sacramento Daily Union, October 1, 1861; Goldsborough Tribune, n. d., quoted in 
Daily Richmond Enquirer, September 3, 1861; and Howard Swiggett, editor, A Rebel War 
Clerk's Diary . . . (New York, 1935), I, 77. 

9 Express (Petersburg, Virginia), n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 26. For addi- 
tional information on panic caused by the Hatteras expedition, see Charleston Mercury, n. d., 
quoted in Daily Richmond Enquirer, September 7, 1861; Wilmington Journal, n. d., quoted 
in Daily Richmond Enquirer, September 2, 1861; Newbern Progress, n. d., quoted in Sacra- 
mento Daily Union, October 1, 1861; and Rowan to Stringham, Fort Hatteras, September 5, 
1861, NOR, VI, 172. 

10 Nelson to Fox, Maysville, Kentucky, September 25, 1861, Robert M. Thompson & Richard 
Wainwright, editors, Confidential Correspondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox . . . (New York, 
1918), I, 380. 

11 "Report of the Secretary of the Navy, July 4, 1861," Senate Executive Document, No. 1, 
37 Cong., 1 sess. (Washington, 1861), 86. 

206 The North Carolina Historical Review 

assemble, a large building plan was undertaken, and great quan- 
tities of ships of all sizes were purchased. 

The Navy Department's sketch of its operational plans in early 
1861 included: 1) the blockade of southern ports; 2) the organi- 
zation of combined army-navy expeditions against strongholds 
on the Confederate seaboard; and 3) the pursuit of enemy 
privateers. President Lincoln in April, 1861, issued proclama- 
tions for the blockade of the southern seaboard with its 3,500 
miles of coastline. Although the blockade proved to be the Navy's 
greatest contribution to the Union victory, it existed only on 
paper for several months after the proclamations. The lack of 
ships and personnel hindered construction of the commercially 
important harbors. 12 By the late spring of 1861, the Navy was in 
disrepute for its inactivity. Municipal, state, and federal officials 
descended upon the department demanding ships to defend har- 
bors and to patrol the coast. One public official stormed : 

The growing discontent created in the public mind by the ex- 
traordinary and disheartening delays of the Navy Department 
will undoubtedly soon result in meetings of the People, who will 
declare their want of confidence. ... A month has elapsed since 
the Blockade proclamation. . . . [yet] every Port, south of the 
Chesapeake ... is still open. 13 

An obstacle to the effectiveness of the Union blockade was the 
protection afforded southerners by their coastline, much of which 
was supplied with a double shore, punctured with numerous in- 
lets. Small ships from Carolina ports would sneak along the 
inside passage until they reached an outlet, and then dash for 
the open seas. Hatteras Inlet was such an obstacle. "The Swash," 
as the inlet was referred to by the Federals, was a long, sandy 
barrier off the coast of North Carolina, six miles south of Cape 
Hatteras and about ninety miles by water from New Bern and 
Washington, North Carolina. "Norfolk and Richmond," diag- 
nosed a Union naval officer in June, 1861, "are not yet blockaded 
or completely cut off from the sea. They have a back outlet. . . ." 
Confederate ships could be passed from these cities through 

12 Charles O. Paullin, "President Lincoln and the Navy," American Historical Review, XIV 
(1909), 284-285, 294; Carroll S. Alden & Allan Westcott, The United States Navy (Chicago, 
1943), 132-137, 140, 142-146; and Dudley W. Knox, A History of the United States Navy 
(New York, 1936), 191-195. 

13 Crea to Fox, New York, May 29, 1861, Thompson & Wainwright, Confidential Cor- 
respondence of Gustavus Vasa Fox, I, 359. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 207 

internal waterways to Hatteras or neighboring inlets. This 
should convince officers, continued the lieutenant, of "the great 
advantages and facilities the enemy will have in possessing this 
vast internal water navigation unmolested." 14 Secessionists also 
recognized these advantages. Fortifications of these outlets were 
begun and by the middle of June, 1861, despite sandstorms, the 
major work had been accomplished on Fort Hatteras. 15 

About five feet high with slanting sides and situated an eighth 
of a mile from the channel entrance, the fort was constructed 
from sand, mud, and turf. Its 62- and 32-pounders commanded 
the approaches by land and sea. "I hardly think," speculated 
Colonel W. Bevershaw Thompson, chief engineer for North Caro- 
lina's coastal defenses, that "a flotilla can get into the harbor." 16 
A second bastion, Fort Clark, "an irregular figure," smaller, but 
constructed similarly to Fort Hatteras, was ready for service in 
late July of the same year. The two redoubts, located about three- 
fourths of a mile from one another on the same island, "secures to 
us," boasted Thompson, "a cross fire upon . . . the entrance to 
this inlet. I now consider this . . . secure against any attempt of 
the enemy to enter." 17 Quickly, other fortifications were marked 
off and built at Ocracoke and Oregon inlets, two neighboring 
outlets to the sea. 

Gales and high seas off the North Carolina coast frequently 
wrecked Union merchantmen on Hatteras Island, where their 
crew and cargo were seized by Confederate troops. 18 

These losses were unimportant compared to the toll taken by 
Confederate privateers, operating from Hatteras Inlet. A look- 
out station at Cape Hatteras and a system of signals enabled 
raiders anchored in the inlet to pounce on lone merchantmen, 
when the blockading vessels patrolled other areas. The marauders 
would "dash out," bewailed a Union naval officer, and be "back 
again in a day with a prize." 19 After Fort Hatteras was con- 
structed, two side-wheelers, a schooner, a tugboat, and a pilot 

14 Lowry to Welles, on board the Pawnee, Potomac River, June 1, 1861, NOR, V, 688. 

15 Thompson to Winslow, Fort Hatteras, June 17, 1861, quoted in The Times (London), 
September 21, 1861. 

16 Thompson to Bradford, Newbern, June 13, 1861, quoted in The Times (London), Sep- 
tember 21, 1861. 

17 Thompson to Winslow, Fort Hatteras, July 25, 1861, NOR, VI, 713. 

18 Statements of Penny and Campbell, New York, August 12, 1861, NOR, VI, 78; news 
clippings, n. d., enclosed in letter Welles to Stringham, Washington, August 8, 1861, NOR, 
VI, 67-68; Andrews to Clark, Fort Hatteras, July 22, 1861, quoted in The Times (London), 
September 21, 1861; and Washington columnist quoted in Sacramento Daily Union, September 
30, 1861. 

19 Selfridge to Welles, on board the Cumberland, at sea, August 10, 1861, NOR, VI, 72. 

208 The North Carolina Historical Review 

boat operated as privateers, the most notorious of which was the 
side-wheeler Winslow. 20 The schooner Priscilla with 600 bushels 
of salt, a large brig cargoed with sugar and molasses, and three 
schooners were a week's catch during July, 1861. 21 

The Confederate ravages caused repercussions in Washington. 
Letters deluged the Navy Department. A committee of the New 
York Board of Underwriters clamored for action to prevent 
further captures "by the pirates who sally out from those inlets" ; 
the State Department reminded Welles that the rebels were 
"doing a very active business through the various inlets of . . . 
North Carolina" ; the Treasury Department mentioned the 
depredations on United States commerce. 22 As irritating were 
the letters from junior naval officers, hinting that something 
should be done at Hatteras. The "coast of Carolina is infested 
with a nest of privateers that have thus far escaped capture, 
advised a naval lieutenant, and "in the ingenious method of their 
cruising, are probably likely to avoid the clutches of our 
cruisers." 23 

In turn, Secretary Welles goaded Commodore Silas H. String- 
ham, commanding the Atlantic Blockading Squadron, with a 
flood of derogatory news clippings and letters. Welles scolded 
that Confederate coastal activities had alarmed the commercial 
community and had caused embarrassment to the department. 
"There is no portion of the coast which you are guarding that 
requires greater vigilance," continued the secretary, "or where 
well-directed efforts and demonstrations would be more highly 
appreciated by the Government and country than North Caro- 
lina." 24 Badgered, Stringham retorted that his naval force was 
insufficient to cope with the menace, and that permanent benefit 

20 Statements of Penny and Campbell, New York, August 12, 1861, NOR, VI, 78; Thompson 
to Winslow, Fort Hatteras, July 25, 1861, NOR, VI, 713; Barron to Sinclair, Newbern, August 
27, 1861, NOR, VI, 718; and William H. Parker, Recollections of a Naval Officer, 1841-1865 
(New York, 1883), 212. 

21 Andrews to Clark, Fort Hatteras, August 2, 1861, quoted in The Times (London), Sep- 
tember 21, 1861. Also see letters Andrews to Clark, Fort Hatteras, July 27, August 8, 1861, 
quoted in The Times (London), September 21, 1861. For an account of privateering activities 
at Hatteras, see William M. Robinson, Jr., The Confederate Privateers (New Haven, 1928), 

23 Smith, Bierwirth, and Thompson to Welles, New York, August 12, 1861, NOR, VI, 77-78; 
Godfrey to [State Department], Washington, August 17, 1861, NOR, VI, 110-111; Chase to 
Welles and enclosures, Washington, July 16, 1861, NOR, VI, 27-29. Also see The New York 
Times, n. d., quoted in Daily Richmond Examiner, September 3, 1861; and The Times (Lon- 
don), September 24, 1861. 

23 Self ridge to Welles, on board the Cumberland, at sea, August 10, 1861, NOR, VI, 72; 
and Lowry to Welles, on board the Pawnee, Potomac River, June 1, 1861, NOR, V, 688-689. 

2 * Welles to Stringham, Washington, August 23, 1861, NOR, VI, 110. Also see Welles to 
Stringham, Washington, August 10, 1861, NOR, VI, 71. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 209 

could only result with the aid of a cooperating army detachment 
to occupy the forts at the mouths of the harbors. 25 

The necessity of the Hatteras expedition is clear; its origin 
is vague. It is, perhaps, to be credited to the numerous sugges- 
tions that came to the attention of Secretary Welles. Intelligence 
reports of Confederate strength filtered back to Washington. Im- 
prisoned for months at Newbern, North Carolina, ten survivors 
of captured Union merchantmen were released, travelled north- 
ward through the sounds in an open boat ; and were subsequently 
picked up by the Quaker City and taken to Hampton Roads. 
Questioned, they reported that they had watched as many as 
fifty vessels pass through Hatteras Inlet, nine of which were 
prizes. According to their observations, three companies were 
stationed at the two forts, whose supply of ammunition was 
very short. In calm weather pickets extended nearly ten miles 
up the beach ; on rough days, about a mile. To conclude, the sur- 
vivors declared that Union forces could be landed anywhere along 
the beach without difficulty, if not opposed by land forces. 26 

A memorandum from naval Lieutenant Robert B. Lowrey in 
June, 1861, advised Welles that there was no part of the country 
in armed rebellion against the government which could so easily 
be made to feel the power of the United States by its occupation 
than the inland coast of North Carolina. 27 A similar recom- 
mendation by another naval lieutenant pompously predicted that 
if his scheme were carried into operation nothing more would 
be heard of the Carolina marauders. 28 According to Welles, the 
seizure of important ports on the Confederate seaboard early 
commanded the attention of the Navy Department. A committee 
was convened by the secretary to make a thorough investigation 
of the "coast and harbors, their access and defences," 29 and, pre- 
sumably, to sift through the numerous suggestions. This work 
completed, Welles acted. 

Confidential information was dispatched to Stringham on 
August 9, 1861, advising that the obstruction of the North Caro- 

25 Stringham to Welles, Hampton Roads, July 18, 1861, NOR, VI, 12. Also see Stringham 
to Welles, August 8, 1861, NOR, VI, 66-67. 

26 Statements of Penny and Campbell, New York, August 12, 1861, NOR, VI. 78-80. Also 
see Andrews to Clark, Fort Hatteras, August 8, 1861, quoted in The Times, (London), Sep- 
tember 21, 1861. 

27 Lowry to Welles, on board the Pawnee, Potomac River, June 1, 1861, NOR, V. 688-689. 

28 Selfridge to Welles, on board the Cumberland, at sea, August 10, 1861, NOR, VI, 72-73. 

29 "Report of the Secretary of the Navy, December 2, 1861," Senate Executive Document, 
No. 1, 37 Cong., 2 sess. (Washington, 1862), 6. 

210 The North Carolina Historical Review 

lina coast should be "thoroughly attended to. . . ." 30 The opera- 
tional plan called for the capture of forts Hatteras and Clark and 
the clogging of the channel entrance by sinking schooners loaded 
with stone. The island was not to be held permanently. On 
August 13, orders were sent to Major-General John E. Wool, who 
had recently relieved Butler of his command at Fort Monroe, to 
organize a detachment to assist the naval operations against 
Hatteras; on the 22nd Wool was informed that the expedition 
"originated in the Navy Department, and is under its control" ; 
on the 24th Wool pressed General Winfield Scott for 25,000 
troops to carry out his assignment; on the 25th 860 men were 
assigned. 31 Commanded by Major-General Butler, the infantry 
was composed of the Ninth and Twentieth New York Volunteers, 
plus a company of the Second United States Artillery from Fort 
Monroe. To news reporters, Wool blurted that he was going to 
make such demonstrations upon the coasts of North Carolina, 
Florida, and Louisiana as were necessary for the rebels to keep 
their armies at home. 32 To army officials, Stringham hinted that 
the transports chartered for the expedition were unseaworthy, 
causing the Navy Department "extreme astonishment." 33 Albeit, 
the unsafe steamers Adelaide and George Peabody were included 
in the conglomerate naval force, which consisted of Stringham's 
flagship, the steam frigate Minnesota, steam frigate Wabash, 
gunboats Monticello and Harriet Lane, steam sloop Pawnee, tug- 
boat Fanny, and a retinue of smaller vessels — two dismasted 
schooners, two iron boats, and several flat fishing smacks. The 
sail sloop Cumberland was assigned to join the squadron at sea. 
In addition to the army detachment, the sailors, and the marines, 
a group of Union coastguardsmen accompanied the expedition. 34 
Secrecy surrounded the force's destination, but a few south- 
erners were awake to the peril of a coastal attack. Our defenses, 
bragged the Raleigh Standard, will give "the Yankees a warm 
reception," and assured its readers that the southern seacoast 
had been rendered not only secure against attack, but prepared 

so Welles to Stringham, Washington, August 9, 1861, NOR, VI, 70. 

31 Townsend to Wool, Washington, August 13, 1861, NOR, VI, 82: Townsend to Wool, 
Washington, August 21, 1861, NOR, VI, 106; Wool to Scott, Fort Monroe, August 24, 1861, 
The War of the Rebellion: . . . Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies 
(Washington, 1882), ser. 1, IV, 603 (Hereafter cited as AOR. All subsequent citations are 
series 1); and Churchill to Butler, Fort Monroe, August 25, 1861, NOR, VI, 112. 

32 Albany Evening Journal, n. d\, quoted in Public Ledger (Philadelphia), August 19, 1861. 

^Welles to Stringham, Washington, August 22, 1861, NOR, VI, 107; and Stringham to 
Welles, Hampton Roads, August 23, 1861, NOR, VI, 108. 

84 See Stringham to Welles, New York, September 2, 1861, NOR, VI, 120. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 211 

for offensive operations. 35 The harbors may be amply protected, 
but, questioned the Savannah Republican, are the creeks and 
inlets safe? 36 

Early on the morning of August 27, a Confederate operator at 
Norfolk telegraphed a dispatch southward: "Enemy's fleet . . . 
left last evening; passed out of the capes and steered south," 
headed for the coast of North Carolina. 37 

The Union squadron's passage from Hampton Roads to Fort 
Hatteras proved uneventful. At 9:30 a. m. on August 27, Cape 
Hatteras Light was sighted, and, after rounding the shoals, the 
squadron dropped anchor to the southward during the afternoon 
watch. Gathered in the wardroom of the Minnesota, officers dis- 
cussed the next day's operation. Attack plans were outlined. 
"The works are pretty strong, and we may have a hard fight of 
it," noted Butler to his wife that evening, "but we mean to take 
them." 38 

Across the water in a Confederate tent, a private was being 
court-martialled for catnapping on watch. The proceeding 
against the unfortunate was dropped. The Union force had been 
sighted. Colonel William A. Martin, commanding the forts, hav- 
ing but 350 men, urgently dispatched a pilot boat to Portsmouth, 
North Carolina, for more troops. 39 An army lieutenant expecting 
action penned to his father: 

In all probability . . . tonight or tomorrow the rattle of musketry 
and roar of cannon will be heard here. Old Abe has waited long, 
but at last has come, and one would suppose with the determina- 
tion to break up this 'hornet's nest' at Hatteras. 40 

The Federal assault commenced at 6:40 a. m. on August 28. 
The Monticello, Harriet Lane, and Pawnee took their stations to 
cover the landing two miles from Fort Clark, while soldiers, 
marines, and coastguardsmen in small boats maneuvered toward 
shore. But, reported one eye-witness, "as fast as they neared the 

35 Standard (Raleigh), n. d., quoted in Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 4, 1861. 

36 Savannah Republican, n. d., quoted in The Southern Enterprise ( Thomasville, Georgia), 
September 4, 1861. Also see Wilmington Journal n. d., quoted in Sacramento Daily Union, 
October 1, 1861; and a Pensacola correspondent quoted in Daily Richmond Examiner, Sep- 
tember 3, 1861. 

87 Huger to Cooper, Norfolk, August 27, 1861, NOR, VI, 137. Also see Clark to Walker, 
Raleigh, August 29, 1861, NOR, VI, 137; and Gatlin's report concerning North Carolina's 
affairs, Everettsville, October 1, 1862, AOR, IV, 574. 

38 Butler to his wife, on board the Minnesota, at sea, August 27, 1861, Marshall, Private 
and Official Correspondence of Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, I, 227-228. 

"Martin to [Gatlin], on board the Minnesota, at sea, August 31, 1861, NOR, VI, 140. 

40 Briggs to his father, [Fort Hatteras], August 22-27, 1861, quoted in The Times (London), 
September 21, 1861. 

212 The North Carolina Historical Review 

beach the breakers carried them aground. . . ." 41 Swamped, the 
small detachment scrambled up the beach to safety. There was 
confusion. Colonel Max Weber grimly pictured the condition of 
his 320 men: "All of us were wet up to the shoulders, cut off 
entirely from the fleet, with wet ammunition, and without any 
provisions." 42 The surf boats bilged, whaleboats were then em- 
ployed in a futile attempt to discharge more troops. By late 
afternoon further plans to land men were discarded. 43 

Since 10 :10 a. m., Fort Clark had been under heavy bombard- 
ment from the Wabash, Cumberland, and Minnesota. "Being a 
fire of shells only," said Martin in the bulwark, "it might well 
be spoken of as a flood of shells." 44 Continually, the three Union 
ships passed and repassed, belching round after round at the 
fort and its environs where troops might possibly be concealed. 
Promptly, the fort had returned the fire, but a shout of "derisive 
laughter" was heard from the Minnesota's gundeck, when the 
shells fell a half mile short. 45 

The side-wheeler Susquehanna, returning to Hampton Roads 
after her tour of duty with the West Indian Squadron, chugged 
upon the scene and was immediately directed to join in the 
bombardment at 11 :00 a. m. The cannonading was stepped up, 
and the air was "so filled with smoke" that it was only occas- 
sionally that the Federals could see the batteries on shore, noted 
a news reporter. 46 

The condition of Fort Clark became precarious. Brutally 
pasted with Yankee troops only three miles away and ammuni- 
tion nearly exhausted, the officers agreed to evacuate and to fall 
back to Fort Hatteras. Grasping everything they could carry 
and spiking their five guns, the fifty-five men retreated. 47 At 
12:25 p. m., a shout rang out on board the Minnesota: "They're 
running !" Union guns were silenced ; the Confederate forts were 
not flying their colors. Feeling ran high. Officers in the Minne- 
sota's wardroom, who that morning had asked the surgeon ques- 

41 New York Herald, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 24. 

42 Weber to Butler, Fort Hatteras, September 5, 1861, AOR, IV, 589. 

43 Butler to Wool, on board the Minnesota, off Hatteras Inlet, August 30, 1861, AOR, 
IV, 582; and Hawkin's account, Robert U. Johnson & Clarence C. Buel, editors, Battles and 
Leaders of the Civil War . . . (New York, 1887), I, 632-633. 

44 Martin to [Gatlin], on board the Minnesota, at sea, August 31, 1861, NOR, VI, 141. 

45 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 18. 

46 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 18. 

47 Martin to [Gatlin], on board the Minnesota, at sea, August 31, 1861, NOR, VI, 141. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 213 

tions about wounds and treatments, met again to congratulate 
each other upon the victory. 48 Their joy was premature. 

To reconnoiter and to aid the soldiers on shore, Butler, at 
4:00 p. m., had the Harriet Lane and the Montice llo ordered into 
the treacherous inlet. As the Harriet Lane, preceded by the 
Monticello, attempted to cross the bar, guns roared from Fort 
Hatteras. The Monticello's pivot gun and starboard battery 
quickly returned the fire. In peril of running aground and the 
target of the brisk fire from the fort, the gunboat, declared its 
commanding officer, was in a "tight place." Having little room in 
which to work the ship, the sailors had difficulty heading the 
Monticello toward open water. One shell tore away her boat 
davits, ramming fragments through the armory, pantry, and 
galley, another fragment ripped up the main deck, passed 
through the berthing compartment, the paint locker, across the 
fire room and lodged in the port coal bunker. 49 

This short range blasting lasted fifty minutes until the Minne- 
sota, Wabash, and Susquehanna started pummeling both forts 
with their batteries. Viciously drubbed, the Monticello escaped 
out of range. Dumbfounded, the Federal troops, who by this time 
had raised the Stars and Stripes, were shelled out of Fort Clark. 
A retreat was hastily executed. 50 During the second dog-watch, 
the squadron's guns ceased firing because of darkness and the 
threatening appearance of the weather. Stringham commanded 
his ships to withdraw out to sea, except the Monticello, Harriet 
Lane, and Pawnee, who were directed to lay off the beach to 
protect the soldiers. 51 

On board the flagship, officers and men were uneasy and 
despondent. One correspondent chafed : 

The feeling throughout the ship . . . was that we were beaten. It 
seemed probable that the vessels stationed to protect our men on 
shore would be compelled to leave them to the mercy of the rebels, 
. . . During the night the secessionists might make our soldiers 
prisoners, reinforce their own forts, repair damages, and be 
ready to show that they were not to be easily vanquished. 

48 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 19. Also see Stringham to 
Welles, New York, September 2, 1861, NOR, VI, 121. 

49 Gillis's preliminary report, on board the Monticello, off Hatteras Inlet August 30, 1861, 
NOR, VI, 123; and Gillis to Welles, on board the Monticello, off Hatteras Inlet. August 31, 
1861, NOR, VI, 125-127; and abstract of the Monticello's log, August 28, 1861, NOR, VI, 

50 Weber to Butler, Fort Hatteras, September 5, 1861, AOR, IV, 589; and New York Herald, 
n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 25. 

61 Stringham to Welles, New York, September 2, 1861, NOR, VI, 121. 

214 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Tired, hungry, and disgusted, officers sat down to their evening 
meal only to discover that it had been stolen from the galley. 52 

Federal troops on the beach suffered greater discomfort. Rain 
fell. The men discussed the possibility of capture. An officer and 
twenty-eight men were sent that night to regain possession of 
Fort Clark; pickets were put out; a second detachment was de- 
ployed to occupy the beach near Fort Hatteras. 53 

A mile away Confederate spirits were heightened, when, under 
cover of darkness Commodore Samuel Barron, chief of the Con- 
federate coastal defenses, and about 230 officers and men dis- 
embarked from the Winslow and other light draft vessels and 
joined the garrison. The new arrivals found the fort's men 
exhausted from exposure and hard fighting. Urged by fellow 
officers, Barron consented to take command of Hatteras. Antici- 
pating further reinforcements at or before midnight, he designed 
an attack upon Fort Clark which he was forced to discard since 
the additional troops did not arrive. 54 

During the first watch the Monticello, Harriet Lane, and 
Pawnee were driven seaward by the weather, but before dawn 
the heavy seas subsided, and Union ships bustled with activity. 
At 5 : 30 a. m. the squadron weighed anchor and stood in toward 
shore. Warned not to fire on Fort Clark, the lead ship, the Sus- 
quehanna, followed closely by the Wabash, steamed in and opened 
fire on Hatteras. Later the Cumberland came in under sail, 
anchored, and turned her guns on the fort with excellent effect ; 
the Harriet Lane joined in the hostilities. One Confederate officer 
described the barrage : 

Firing of shells became . . . literally tremendous, as we had fall- 
ing into and immediately around the work not less on an average 
of 10 each minute, and the sea being smooth, the firing was 
remarkably accurate. 55 

The ineffective range of Confederate guns, the lack of ammu- 
nition, and the casualties finally convinced officers that further 
resistance would only result in a greater loss of life without 
damaging the adversary. As if to settle their hesitation, a shell 

52 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 19-20. 

53 Weber to Butler, Fort Hatteras, September 5, 1861, AOR, IV, 689; and New York Herald, 
n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 25. 

54 Barron to Mallory, on board tbe Minnesota, at sea, August 31, 1861, NOR. VI, 138-139. 

55 Andrews to [Gatlin], on board the Minnesota, at sea, September 1, 1861, NOR, VI, 144. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 215 

fell down the ventilator shaft into a room next to the principal 
magazine locker. Although the ensuing fire was brought under 
control, Barron ordered the white flag run up at 11 :07 a. m. 56 

Spying the surrender colors, the sailors on board the Minne- 
sota "flew to the rigging, and from ship to ship rang the cheers 
of victory." 57 Shortly before, Butler with a small detachment 
had disembarked into the Fanny to effect a landing. Hearing the 
cheers and whistles of victory, the General ordered the tugboat 
to head into the inlet. The Fanny anchored, Butler sent his aide 
in a rowboat ashore to demand the meaning of the white flag. 
He returned quickly bringing a memorandum from Barron, 
which stated that to avoid further bloodshed he was willing to 
surrender the bulwark, if the officers and men were set free. 
In reply, Butler irately dispatched the following : 

The terms offered are these: Full capitulation; the officers and 
men to be treated as prisoners of war. No other terms admis- 
sable. . . . 58 

Meanwhile, the transports George Peabody and Adelaide with 
the remaining troops headed into the inlet, followed by the 
Harriet Lane. The George Peabody safely navigated the channel, 
but the Adelaide and the Harriet Lane piled up on a sand bar. 
The quick action of Commander Henry Stellwagen freed the 
transport; the Harriet Lane, however, remained hard aground. 
"This to me," said Butler later, 

was a moment of the greatest anxiety. By this accident a valuable 
ship of war and transport steamer [loaded with troops] . . . was 
[sic] in front of the enemy. I had demanded the most stringent 
terms which he was considering. He might refuse, and . . . renew 
the actions. 59 

After waiting anxiously forty-five minutes but determined "not 
to abate a 'tittle/ " Butler's fears were eased when Barron and 
two high-ranking officers boarded the tugboat and informed the 
General that his terms had been accepted. Weighing anchor, the 
Fanny steered out of the inlet toward the Minnesota. On board 

56 Barron to Mallory, on board the Minnesota, at sea, August 31, 1861, NOR, VI, 139. 

57 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 20. 

58 Butler to Barron, [Hatteras Inlet, August 29, 1861], AOR, IV, 583. 

68 Butler to Wool, on board the Minnesota, off Hatteras Inlet, August 30, 1861, AOR, IV, 

216 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the flagship, the Confederate officers signed the articles of capi- 
tulation, which called for unconditional surrender. 60 

Butler and a small force, together with Colonel Weber and his 
troops, who by this time had surrounded Hatteras, formally took 
the surrender of the fort. Disembarked from the transports now 
anchored in the sound, the Federal troops marched into the 
bastion and raised the Union flag. To celebrate the victory, Butler 
and his men set about to fire a thirteen-gun salute. At the order 
"fire" the guns sputtered and then fizzled, and, due to the strong 
wind, the men standing a few yards away instantly became 
covered with kernels of unburned powder. 61 

About 600 Confederates were herded on board the Adelaide 
along with their wounded. Southern casualties were seven dead 
and thirty wounded. 62 When the prisoners were on board the 
Adelaide, "the call for water was universal," reported one crew 

and their thirst appeared unquenchable. . . . The prisoners said 
they had had no water fit to drink since they had been in the 
Fort. They were perfectly exhausted, and could lie down any- 
where for a nap. 63 

Upon examination of the redoubt, it was discovered that the 
enemy's armament was deficient, not because of its grade, but 
for "the utter worthlessness of the powder used." 64 Surrendered 
were 650 stands of small arms, twenty-five cannon in and around 
the fort, tents for 650 men, a supply of onions, bread, and coffee, 
a brig containing a quantity of cotton, two schooners, and 
whiskey, which, said a pious Boston reporter, "was the most 
dangerous enemy our troops were called upon to meet." 65 

The only damage to the Union force was the Harriet Lane, 
still aground in the inlet. The crew endeavored to float her; 
ammunition, stores, provisions, spars, coal, and 32-pounders 
were jettisoned. Men, boats, and equipment were rushed from 

so Articles of Capitulation, August 29, 1861, NOR, VI, 120. 

81 Butler's testimony, January 15, 1862, "Report of the Point Committee on the Conduct of 
the War," Senate Report, No. 108, pt. iii, 37 Cong., 3 sess. (Washington, 1863). 284. 

62 For Confederate casualties, see King to Stellwagen, Hampton Roads, August 31, 1861, 
NOR VI 128-129 

68 Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 3, 1861. 

6t Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 22; and Butler's testimony, 
January 15, 1862, "Report of the Joint Committee . . . ," Senate Report, No. 108, pt. iii, 37 
Cong., 3 sess., 284. 

66 Boston Journal, n. d., Moore, The Republican Record, III, 22. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 217 

the other ships in the squadron. On board the grounded vessel, 
all hands were kept busy throughout the night, but to no avail. 66 

Late the same evening, Butler and Stringham met in the com- 
modore's cabin. Their orders had been explicit. The Federal 
forces were to level the forts, block the channel, and return. 
However, the General recognized that Hatteras would be invalu- 
able as a depot for the blockading squadron, as a safe refuge in 
all weathers for the coasting trade, and as a staging area for 
future operations against North Carolina and Virginia. 67 Orders, 
therefore, were disobeyed: the forts were not levelled, nor the 
channel blocked. 

To hold the inlet, troops and a naval force consisting of the 
Monticello, Pawnee, Susquehanna, and the grounded Harriet 
Lane remained behind. The following day, August 30, 1861, the 
squadron headed northward and Butler arrived in Washington 
late the same night. On September 5, Secretary of War Simon 
Cameron dispatched the following message to Wool: 

The position at Cape Hatteras must be held, and you will adopt 
such measures, in connection with the Navy Department, as may 
be necessary to effect the object. 68 

The seizure of Hatteras was successful because of the squad- 
ron's accurate fire with its smothering effect on the forts. The 
most notable flaw in the execution of the maneuver was the lack 
of organization. Faulty intelligence may have been responsible 
for the singular lack of foresight displayed in landing troops 
through the breakers. If the planning had been thorough or 
Union leaders more aggressive, thrusts at neighboring Con- 
federate cities might have created considerable havoc. Instead 
of "wasting time in speechifying," censured the Philadelphia 
Public Ledger, Stringham and Butler should have followed up 
their blows. 69 A Confederate naval officer confided that the 
enemy erred in not taking possession of the sounds immediately 

after capturing Hatteras — "there was nothing to prevent it " 70 

Had there been more troops, more light draft vessels which could 
easily navigate through the sounds, a carefully elaborated and 

66 Faunce to Stringham, Hampton Roads, September 6, 1861, NOR, VI, 129-131. 

67 Butler to Wool, on board the Minnesota, off Hatteras Inlet, August 30, 1861, AOR, IV, 

68 Cameron to Wool, Washington, September 5, 1861, AOR, IV, 606. 

69 Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 6, 1861. 

70 Parker, Recollections of a Naval Officer, 215. 

218 The North Carolina Historical Review 

aggressive plan of attack, the Hatteras expedition could have 
pushed into North Carolina, as Federal troops did a year later. 

Credit for the initial success of the expedition must be given 
to the Federal Navy — unaided, the squadron gained the imme- 
diate objective. Confederate officers refused to surrender to the 
Army, but insisted, since it was a naval victory, the articles of 
capitulation be drawn up jointly between Union army and naval 
officers. Although the Army played a secondary part in the 
attack, it was essential to hold what had been won. The wisdom 
of the decision to garrison the island became evident in 1862, 
when Hatteras became the staging area for the successful army- 
navy expedition against Roanoke Island. Lessons learned during 
the Hatteras attack no doubt aided future combined expeditions 
against Port Royal, Roanoke Island, New Orleans, Mobile Bay, 
and Fort Fisher. 

The capture of forts Hatteras and Clark was a timely victory 
for the Union. Coming soon after the disaster at Bull Run, it 
bolstered northern morale. The effect of the victory in New York, 
a columnist declared, "contributes to the cheerful feeling that 
prevails, by encouraging hope that the tide of victory is now 
turned from the rebels to the Union arms." 71 In Washington, the 
Hatteras success strengthened the position of the Navy Depart- 
ment. Merchants and insurance officers of New York posted a 
congratulatory letter to Commodore Stringham, expressing their 
gratitude for the breakup of the Hatteras privateers. 72 The vic- 
tory "has gilded the weathercocks of the Navy Department. . . " 
observed a foreign correspondent. 73 "It gives us the advantage . . . 
of our navy, from which we have hitherto derived no benefit 
commensurate with its cost or its power," noted one Union news- 
paper. 74 Not only did the expedition quicken northern morale and 
gain prestige for the department, but it caused alarm in North 
Carolina and dejection throughout most of the South. According 
to Chief Engineer Thompson, North Carolina had relied upon 
its fortifications at the island, and, when these installations gave 
way, residents thought the whole thing was gone. 75 The Union 
Navy's timing had caught the southern coastal defenses, at least 

71 New York columnist quoted in Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 2, 1861. 

72 Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 4, 1861. 

78 The Times (London), September 23, 1861. Also see September 16, 1861. 
7 * Public Ledger (Philadelphia), September 2, 1861. 

75 Butler's testimony, January 15, 1862, "Report of the Joint Committee . . . ," Senate 
Report, No. 108, pt. iii, 37 Cong., 3 sess., 288. 

The Hatteras Expedition, August, 1861 219 

at Hatteras, unprepared. The officers and men at the fort had 
gone about their daily affairs, satisfied with the success 6i th^ 
privateers, and had been unconcerned with strengthening the 

Another important result of the victory was that the Navy's 
objectives, as outlined in 1861 — to blockade the rebellious ports, 
to attack coastal strongholds, to choke privateer activity — were 
indeed fulfilled in the combined assault upon Hatteras Inlet. The 
rendezvous area quashed, Confederate marauders from Hatteras 
no longer preyed upon Union cargo ships plying the coast of 
North Carolina. Fortifications at another outlet, Oracoke, were 
captured without a struggle in late September, 1861, by blue- 
jackets sent from Fort Hatteras. Two months later, schooners 
loaded with stone were sunk at Ocracoke, closing this outlet com- 
pletely to Confederate commerce and raiders. These successful 
operations completed, the Union blockade, so important to the 
ultimate Union victory, was considerably strengthened. 

l >;' | , , . BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR 

By Ernest M. Lander, Jr. 

At the time that Dr. Charles Herty made his discoveries for 
manufacturing paper from southern pines very few paper mills 
were to be found in the Southeast and none in South Carolina. 
Yet long before the Civil War a small paper manufacturing in- 
dustry sprang up in South Carolina, and between 1806 and 1860 
at least nine mills were erected within the state, four by one 
company. However, during the Civil War and the years immedi- 
ately following the industry disappeared entirely. 

George Waring, of Columbia, constructed the first paper mill 
in the state and in November, 1806, announced that it would be 
in operation within a few weeks. He asserted that the success of 
"this expensive experiment' ' depended greatly on public aid in 
preserving old rags, which he would gladly purchase. 1 In part- 
nership with his brother Benjamin he operated the factory until 
sometime after the War of 1812. Although the brothers carried 
on a rather extensive trade with Waring and Hayne, Charleston 
factors, nothing is known of the size of the establishment, the 
labor force employed, or the productivity of the mill. 2 

The second paper mill in South Carolina was likewise estab- 
lished near Columbia. J. J. Faust and Company, printers and 
publishers, constructed it on the banks of the Broad River within 
two miles of the town and started operations in January, 1827. 
Local newspapers immediately began to use the factory's news- 
print, labeled by one editor as "excellent." He said that the 
proprietors intended to expand the facilities of the mill and pro- 
duce a finer grade of paper. 3 However, J. J. Faust and Company 
did not retain ownership of the establishment for long. Within 
a year James J. B. White, William A. Bricknell, and John B. 
White had secured control. They decided to renovate the plant 
and re-equip it with more up-to-date machinery. In February, 

1 The South Carolina State Gazette and Columbian Advertiser (Columbia), November 15, 

2 George Waring Papers, in possession of Dr. J. I. Waring, Charleston, S. C. A directory 
of business firms in Columbia listed the mill as late as May 14, 1816. The Telescope (Colum- 
bia). Benjamin Waring, a large planter, also operated a tanyard and had been a partner 
in the ill-fated cotton mill venture at Stateburg, 1790-1795. Charleston Courier, February 26, 
1845; Joseph Johnson, Traditions and Reminiscences Chiefly of the American Revolution in 
the South . . . (Charleston, S. C, 1851), 196. 

8 South-Carolina State Gazette and Columbia Advertiser (Columbia), April 28, 1827. 


Paper Manufacturing in South Carolina 221 

1831, with apologies to the public for delays and inconveniences 
caused, they announced it to be in ' 'complete order and full 
operation." Their labor force consisted of "a number of" white 
journeymen and black slaves. 4 Unfortunately, their efforts came 
to nought, for less than a year later fire destroyed the mill with 
all its new equipment at a loss of nearly $10,000. Having no 
insurance, the partners made no attempt to rebuild the factory ; 
consequently, their remaining outbuildings and workers' accom- 
modations, costing another $10,000, became practically a dead 
loss. 5 

In 1834 Andrew Patterson, a so-called "wealthy and per- 
severing" paper manufacturer from Tennessee, purchased the 
site of Adam Carruth's old armory six miles below Greenville 
and announced that he would have a paper mill in operation 
within twelve months. He was overly optimistic in his forecast, 
for the factory did not turn out its first paper until August, 1836. 
In the meantime, James A. Patterson joined him in the venture. 
By 1840 the factory was employing thirty workers and annually 
producing $20,000 worth of paper products. Although seemingly 
prosperous the Pattersons soon lost control of the property when 
their creditors, including Benajah Dunham, filed suit against 
them for over $12,000. After considerable litigation the sheriff 
in February, 1842, sold the paper mill under the hammer. Dun- 
ham bought the property for only $3,300. 6 

Benajah Dunham, sometime mayor of Greenville, decided to 
embark upon paper manufacturing on a large scale. In 1846 he 
secured a charter from the state legislature incorporating the 
Greenville Manufacturing Company with an authorized capital 
of $50,000, and a year later a visitor reported that Dunham had 
one twenty-horsepower mill in operation making coarse paper, 
while at the same time "rebuilding" a larger one of thirty horse- 
power for manufacturing finer grades. A sawmill, a woodwork- 
ing shop, and a blacksmith shop were connected with the estab- 
lishment. 7 Both paper mills were wooden structures, the larger 

i Southern Times & State Gazette (Columbia), February 23, 1831. In 1829 White, Brick- 
nell, and White petitioned the General Assembly to relieve their workmen of road, patrol, 
and militia duty, all of which greatly hampered the efficient operation of the mill. They 
maintained that their establishment was of considerable benefit in keeping money at home 
that formerly went north for paper. MSS File — "Public Improvements: Manufacturing," 
South Carolina Historical Commission, Columbia 

5 Charleston Courier, January 10, 1832. 

6 Sixth Census of the United States, 1840, Statistics (Washington, 1841), 199; Charleston 
Courier, January 17, 1834, September 9, 1836; Greenville County, Deed Book V, 255-257. 

7 Statutes at Large of South Carolina (12 volumes, Columbia, S. C, 1836-1874), XI, 426- 
27; Charleston Courier, October 15, 1847. 

222 The North Carolina Historical Review 

one being a four-story building. 8 Another account stated that 
most of Dunham's papermakers and skilled mechanics were his 
own slaves. 9 

On February 10, 1849, Dunham suffered a severe setback when 
fire destroyed both paper mills, about 20,000 pounds of rags, and 
$2,000 worth of paper. His total loss was at least $20,000. Al- 
though he had no insurance, he immediately rebuilt a paper mill 
and the following year sold it with his tin manufactory for 
$20,000 to the reorganized Greenville Manufacturing Company. 
Dunham took stock as payment and was elected president of the 
concern. His nephew James B. Sherman was named secretary- 
treasurer and Greenville agent for the factory. The corporation 
soon had two paper mills in operation again. 10 

On the Reedy River, a mile below Dunham's establishment, 
Vardry McBee in 1844 installed paper manufacturing machinery 
under the same roof with his cotton mill. By the end of the decade 
his factory, valued at $10,000, was as productive as Dunham's. 
Each turned out 120,000 pounds of paper annually, McBee using 
fifteen workers and Dunham nineteen. 11 

In 1849 a group of entrepreneurs, including several prominent 
Charleston businessmen, organized and procured from the Gen- 
eral Assembly a charter for the South Carolina Paper Manu- 
facturing Company. It was to be capitalized at $20,000 with the 
privilege of extending its stock to $60,000. Five years later the 
legislature amended the charter to permit the company to in- 
crease its capital stock to $150,000. 12 The stockholders selected 
for their president Ker Boyce, a Charleston capitalist who was 
also a large investor in the Graniteville Manufacturing Company 
and one of the richest men in the state. Joseph Walker was named 
secretary-treasurer and agent in Charleston, and Sumner Brown, 
"a gentleman of large experience in the business" from Connecti- 
cut, was hired as superintendent. 13 

8 The Spartan (Spartanburg), February 13, 1849. 
» The Southern Patriot (Greenville), May 30, 1851. 

10 The Spartan (Spartanburg), February 13, 1849; The Southern Patriot (Greenville), 
June 17, 1852; Greenville County, Deed Book W, 332. Dunham's will in 1853 showed that he 
had owned $20,000 worth of stock in the company, $5,000 worth of which was sold to 
Sherman. Greenville County, Wills, Apt. 13, No. 130. 

11 Charleston Courier, September 9, 1844, October 15, 1847; MS, Census 1850, Products of 
Industry, South Carolina: Greenville District, South Carolina Historical Commission. 

12 Statutes at Large of South Carolina, XI, 559-60; XII, 321. 

13 Charleston Courier, February 12, 1851; The Spartan (Spartanburg), February 27, 1851. 
At the time of his death in 1854 Boyce owned $15,000 worth of stock in the company and 
was probably the largest shareholder. His entire estate was valued at well above $1,000,000. 
MS, Account of the Division of Ker Boyce's Estate, James Petigru Boyce Papers, Library of 
Congress. Other associates included Benjamin C. Pressley, Ettsell L. Adams, A. V. Dawson, 
and James Purvis. Petition for incorporation by the South Carolina Paper Manufacturing 
Company, 1849, MSS File — "Pub. Imp.: Mfg.," South Carolina Historical Commission. 

Paper Manufacturing in South Carolina 223 

The South Carolina Paper Manufacturing Company located its 
plant on Horse Creek a few miles below Graniteville and within 
100 feet of the South Carolina Railroad. Superintendent Brown 
contracted with Goddard, Rice and Company, Worcester, Massa- 
chusetts, to furnish more than $10,000 worth of the latest type of 
machinery, and in February, 1852, Walker notified the machin- 
ists that the buildings were ready for the installation of the 
equipment. 14 

The establishment consisted of a large two-story brick build- 
ing, 250 by 50 feet, with a one-story wing, 40 by 40, a stockhouse, 
90 by 40, a depot, 60 by 30, and a number of cottages for the 
workers. The canal, running parallel with the railroad, was one- 
half mile long. The water it supplied turned five wheels, but that 
was still insufficient power for the machinery, and a small sta- 
tionary steam engine was used as an auxiliary. The labor force 
consisted of about fifty employees, of whom one-half were women 
and girls and a dozen were slaves. 15 

The Bath Paper Mills, as the establishment became known 
after 1858, was the largest factory of its type in the South on the 
eve of the Civil War. Its capital investment was $100,000 and 
it annually manufactured 900,000 pounds of paper valued at 
$81,000. 16 

One other paper mill was established in the state before 1860. 
Philip C. Lester, a Greenville cotton manufacturer, in February, 
1853, entered into a partnership with Thomas L. and P. T. 
Fowler to erect a plant on Rocky Creek in Greenville District. It 
was to be situated near his cotton factory. Each partner was to 
put up $600 cash to be used for purchasing machinery when 
needed, but Lester was to retain title to the land until all debts 
had been extinguished. 17 

South Carolina paper mills turned out a variety of products, 
all of which generally received praise from the local press. The 

14 Goddard, Rice and Company to Joseph Walker, December 10, 1851; Joseph Walker to 
J. H. Hayden, March 12, 1852, Hayden Family Papers, Library of Congress. 

15 Camden Weekly Journal, March 8, 1853; Charleston Daily Courier, February 11, 1860. 

16 Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, Manufactures (Washington, 1865), 554. 

17 Greenville County, Deed Book X, 59-60. It should be noted that South Carolina counties 
were known as "districts" until 1868. Several other paper mills were projected from time to 
time, but none apparently began operations. In 1824 William Campbell, of Yorkville, formed 
a partnership with Thomas Falls, of Tennessee, to erect a paper mill in York District. 
Pioneer and Yorkville Advertiser, February 7, 1824. Ten years later a company was organized 
to build one near Vaucluse cotton factory in Edgefield District. The buildings, so it was 
reported, had been constructed and an agent sent north to buy the machinery. Niles' Weekly 
Register, XLVI (August 2, 1834), 384. In 1847 a partnership was reported to have been 
formed in Columbia for the same purpose. The South Carolinian (Columbia), June 1, 1847. 
Three years later the Hamburg Paper Mills was incorporated by the General Assembly. 
Statutes at Large of South Carolina, XII, 38-39. 

224 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Warings sent newsprint and wrapping paper to Charleston. 
White, Bricknell, and White produced newsprint, wrapping 
paper, and pasteboard. Dunham's agent in Columbia listed 
wrapping paper, brown and blue yarn paper, heavy bag paper, 
yellow envelope paper, and apothecaries blue paper. The South 
Carolina Paper Manufacturing Company turned out book paper, 
newsprint, and manila wrapping paper. This company adver- 
tised: "No pains or expense has been spared to render it equal 
to the best Northern mills, all the latest and most approved 
machinery having been introduced into the same." 18 

A correspondent who visited McBee's and Dunham's mills in 
Greenville District reported that they manufactured all qualities 
of paper from "the finest Letter Sheet to the common brown 
Wrappers and all sizes and colours." 19 The Greenville Mountain- 
eer called McBee's paper "a most excellent article and would do 
credit to any manufactory in the United States." 20 At one time 
when McBee's factory temporarily ceased operations the editor 
of the Laurensville Herald apologized to his readers for the poor 
quality of paper he had to use as a substitute. He proclaimed 
McBee's paper to be "far superior" to any he had procured 
previously. 21 

In the technique of manufacturing, as employed by McBee and 
Dunham, women and children first sorted the best rags for sep- 
arate processing. The rags next passed through a wire sieve 
duster and into a boiling vat of strong lime water. After this an 
engine cut them into small pieces, and the rags went through 
another boiling, which included bleaching and dyeing. A machine 
and a mangling tub reduced the mass to pulp of the proper con- 
sistency to make paper. A stream of water then washed it down 
a trough against a revolving cylinder of fine wire which picked 
up the pulp and passed it onto a piece of woolen cloth brushing 
against the other side of the cylinder. The cloth with the pulp 
passed over two or three steam-heated cylinders which dried 
the pulp, thus making paper. 22 

All the paper factories found a market for a considerable por- 

18 George Waring to Waring and Hayne, November 30, 1809, January 13, 1810, George 
Waring Papers; South-Carolina State Gazette and Columbia Advertiser (Columbia), June 28, 
1828; The Daily Telegraph (Columbia), February 3, 1848; Charleston Daily Courier, March 
25, 1853. 

19 Charleston Courier, September 9, 1850. 

20 May 2, 1845. 

21 October 6, 1854. 

22 Charleston Courier, October 5, 1849, September 9, 1850. 

Paper Manufacturing in South Carolina 225 

tion of their products within their home state. As already seen, 
the Warings sent much of their paper to Charleston. J. J. Faust 
and Company and its successors, White, Bricknell, and White, 
supplied newsprint for newspapers in the Columbia area and 
sent its products as far into the back country as Yorkville. 23 
McBee boasted of numerous clients among the piedmont news- 
papers, and Joseph Walker was his agent in Charleston before 
the South Carolina Paper Manufacturing Company was organ- 
ized. 24 Dunham shipped his paper either to Columbia or 
Augusta. 25 

When the South Carolina Paper Manufacturing Company 
began operations with its output of 3,000 pounds of paper per 
day, it spread its sales to Augusta, Charleston, Savannah, and 
even as far away as New Orleans and Nashville. 26 The rapidity 
with which it could fill a large order was reported by the Daily 
Courier, September 11, 1858. On Saturday, September 4, the 
Charleston agent received notice of a ship sailing for New 
Orleans. He telegraphed the mill's manager in Augusta, and the 
latter sent down shipments nightly on the express freight train 
to Charleston. Up to Friday morning, September 10, nearly 600 
reams of large printing paper valued between $2,500 and $3,000 
had been delivered aboard the vessel. 

For a time during the late forties and early fifties the South 
Carolina mills appeared to be unable to meet the demand. The 
Carolina Times, a Columbia paper, on one occasion found that it 
would have to wait for two months before it could obtain any 
newsprint from Joseph Walker, the agent for the South Carolina 
Paper Manufacturing Company. Its editor turned to an agent 
for one of the Greenville mills — probably Dunham's — and was 
informed that a commission merchant from the north had en- 
gaged all that the mill could manufacture in the next year. He 
finally had to purchase paper from outside the state. 27 

One of the major problems the paper mill proprietors faced 

23 Pioneer & South-Carolina Whig (Yorkville), December 18, 1830. J. J. Faust received 
encouragement from the Camden Journal, May 12, 1827; but the Pendleton Messenger, No- 
vember 7, 1827, explained that infrequent intercourse between Pendleton and Columbia forced 
it to buy its paper from Philadelphia. It was sent by water up the Savannah River. 

24 Charleston Courier, September 9, 1850. Among the newspapers that patronized McBee 
were the Laurensville Herald, October 6, 1854; The Spartan (Spartanburg), February 13, 
1849; the Greenville Mountaineer, May 2, 1845; and The Southern Patriot (Greenville), 
February 28, 1851. 

25 Charleston Courier, September 9, 1850. Dunham's Columbia agent advertised 500 reams 
of his paper in The Daily Telegraph (Columbia), October 20, 1847. 

26 Charleston Daily Courier, February 11, 1860. 

27 Cited in Charleston Daily Courier, March 3, 1854. 

226 The North Carolina Historical Review 

from first to last was that of procuring rags. George Waring 
experienced some such difficulty. He advertised for rags, offering 
from $1.00 per hundredweight for old woolen rags up to $5.00 
for clean linen rags. 28 To his kinsman Richard Waring in Charles- 
ton he wrote: "Let me know if it would be convenient for you 
to purchase or receive old Rags and send up here by Boat, I 
would always endeavor to have money in your hands for that 
purpose and allow you ten per cent on the cost of the Rags." That 
method apparently became standard procedure for obtaining 
raw materials. Several years later Waring wrote Waring and 
Hayne : ". . . the proceeds of the Paper, I wish to remain in your 
hands, for the purpose of paying for Rags, which you will do 
when you meet with any person who will deliver them on board 
of the Boat well packed, none will answer but clean Cotton or 
linen Rags, and I think best to be packed in Boxes." 29 

Benajah Dunham's agents collected rags for him whenever 
they could procure them. He also sold paper in August for tin 
plate, which he manufactured into finished products in his tin 
manufactory. These in turn he sold in his store to local citizens 
for rags. Another source of raw materials for Dunham, as well 
as the other Greenville paper manufacturers, was through the 
Tennessee wagon trade, which brought in high quality flaxen 
rags to exchange for cotton yarn. 30 Besides these sources some 
of the mills purchased cotton waste from nearby textile mills. 
Even so, it was frequently difficult to obtain enough raw material 
to keep in full operation, and on one occasion McBee closed his 
factory for that reason. The scarcity of raw material may have 
been the prime factor in causing him to stop altogether in 1858 
and offer his machinery for sale. 31 

All the South Carolina paper mills went through a period of 
reorganization just prior to the Civil War. How many, if any, 
could attribute their financial troubles to the panic of 1857 
cannot be determined. William Gregg, the well-known cotton 
manufacturer, said in 1860 that they suffered from the lack of 

28 The South Carolina State Gazette and Columbian Advertiser (Columbia), November 
15, 1806. 

^November 12, 1806, January 13, 1810, George Waring Papers. J. J. Faust and Company 
offered to pay $3.50 per hundredweight for all linen, cotton, and hemp rags or old sail 
cloth, South-Carolina State Gazette and Columbia Advertiser (Columbia), April 7, 1827. 

a> The Southern Patriot (Greenville), May 30, 1851; Charleston Courier, October 15 1847. 

31 Laurensville Herald, October 6, 1854, January 29, 1858. The South Carolina Paper 
Manufacturing Company advertised widely for rags. Part of its raw material was waste 
from the nearby Vaucluse cotton factory. Camden Weekly Journal, July 11, 1854; MSS, 
Letterbooks, J. J. Gregg and Company, I, 326, South Caroliniana Library, Columbia. 

Paper Manufacturing in South Carolina 227 

home patronage. For that reason the South Carolina Paper 
Manufacturing Company "lost its first capital," as he put it. 32 Be 
that as it may, in 1858 the company leased its plant for several 
years to John G. Winter, George W. Winter, and John McKinney, 
who operated it under a charter of their own : Bath Paper Mills 
Company. 33 

When Philip Lester's partnership with the Fowlers expired in 
1858, their mill had earned insufficient profits to reduce the in- 
debtedness of the enterprise. Thereupon, all three owners agreed 
that the property should remain in Lester's hands. With the aid 
of his three sons Lester continued to run the factory, listed in 
1860 as having a capital investment of $8,000 and employing 
nine workers. 34 

Benajah Dunham's establishment continued operations after 
his death in 1853, but under the name of J. B. Sherman and 
Company. However, its financial structure was insecure due to 
the fact that it was indebted to a considerable amount to Dun- 
ham's estate. In 1857 his executors brought suit against the 
company and forced it into bankruptcy. For a mere $3,655 it was 
sold to two buyers who declared their intention of discontinuing 
paper making, but a few months later Robert Greenfield pur- 
chased the factory and resumed the business of manufacturing 
paper. 35 

In sum, South Carolina had three paper mills in operation on 
the eve of the sectional conflict: the Bath Paper Mills, Green- 
field's, and Lester's. They were capitalized at $111,000, employed 
fifty-seven workers, and annually produced paper worth almost 
$100,000. For the states destined to secede Virginia led in the 
number of mills and in the value of annual production with nine 
and $270,000, respectively. North Carolina, Georgia, and South 
Carolina followed in the order given. In view of the production 
of the northern mills the South' s output was negligible, for New 
York alone had 126 mills, and the total for the United States was 
555, whose yearly production amounted to over $21,000,000 
worth of paper. 36 

32 William Gregg, "Southern Patronage to Southern Imports and Southern Industry," 
DeBow's Review, XXIX (August, 1860), 230. 

33 Charleston Daily Courier, March 3, 1858; December, 1858; Statutes at Large of South 
Carolina, XII, 599-600. 

34 Greenville County, Deed Book Y, 661-66, 669; MS, Census 1860, Products of Industry, 
South Carolina: Greenville District. 

35 Charleston Daily Courier, September 28, November 9, 1857; Keowee Courier (Pickens), 
July 3, 1858. 

88 Eighth Census, 1860, Manufactures, cxxxi. 





By Christopher Crittenden 

The fifty-first annual session of the State Literary and His- 
torical Association was held at the Hotel Sir Walter in Raleigh, 
Friday, December 7, 1951. Meeting concurrently with the Asso- 
ciation were the North Carolina Folklore Society, the North 
Carolina State Art Society, the North Carolina Society for the 
Preservation of Antiquities, the North Carolina Society of 
County and Local Historians, and the Roanoke Island Historical 
Association. At the morning meeting of the Association, with 
President Robert Lee Humber of Greenville presiding, the fol- 
lowing papers were read : "Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colo- 
nial Town," by E. Lawrence Lee, Jr., of Chapel Hill; "How it 
Feels to be a Writer/' by Mrs. Frances Gray Patton of Durham ; 
and "North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951," by Frontis 
W. Johnston of Davidson. At the business session which followed, 
the Association voted, among other things, to raise the dues from 
$2 to $3 per year so that all members might receive copies of 
The North Carolina Historical Review. 

At the evening meeting President Humber presided and de- 
livered an address and Associate Justice S. J. Ervin, Jr., gov- 
ernor of the Society of Mayflower Descendants in North Carolina, 
announced that the annual Mayflower Cup award had been 
made to Jonathan Daniels of Raleigh for his book, The Man of 
Independence. The meeting was brought to a close by an address, 
"Unsolved Mysteries in the Life of George Washington," by 
Douglas Southall Freeman of Richmond, Virginia. 

Two of these papers are included in the pages that follow, and 
it is believed that they will be read with interest both by those 
who did not have the opportunity to hear them in the first 
instance and also by those who, though they were present when 
the papers were delivered, will nevertheless enjoy the opportu- 
nity to refresh their memories as to what was said. In some cases 


Papers from Fifty-first Annual Session 229 

the editors have made certain revisions and the usual editing 
has been done, but in no instance has the original meaning been 
materially altered. 


By E. Lawrence Lee, Jr. 

A visitor to the mouth of the Cape Fear River in early 1725 
would have found an uninhabited wilderness. No white man lived 
within 100 miles, 1 and even the Indians who had once lived there 
were gone. 2 Other than the sea, only a trader's footpath con- 
nected the region with the outside world. 3 The visitor might have 
chanced upon the ruins of former habitations, which would have 
been the remains of earlier efforts of the English to settle there. 

In the 1660's several groups attempted to establish a settle- 
ment along the river. Apparently these ventures were ill-planned 
and resulted in much suffering and hardship. In 1667 the Cape 
Fear was abandoned, and the Lords Proprietors, to whom Charles 
II of England had granted the Carolinas in 1663, shifted their 
interest to other parts of their vast holdings. The infant settle- 
ment of Albemarle in northeastern North Carolina was encour- 
aged by them, and to the south, at the confluence of the Ashley 
and Cooper rivers, Charles Town was founded. In order to con- 
centrate population in these two areas, the Proprietors prohibited 
settlement within twenty miles of the Cape Fear River. 4 

From the opening of the 18th century, however, circumstances 
were developing which were to turn the eyes of Englishmen 
again to the Cape Fear. England, as a maritime nation, was 
dependent upon a constant supply of naval stores, which for 
years she had obtained from the Scandinavian nations. During 
Queen Anne's War, difficulties were encountered in obtaining 
these supplies, and she turned to her American colonies as a 
more dependable source. The colonial producers were granted 
bounties to offset the advantages of experience and shorter 
hauling distances enjoyed by the Scandinavian states. At first 
it was expected that American production would center in New 
England, but the milder climate and longer growing season of 
the South caused attention to shift to that section. 5 

1 W. L. Saunders (ed.). The Colonial Records of North Carolina (Raleigh: P. M. Hale, 
1886; Josephus Daniels, 1887-1890), III, 436. Hereinafter cited as C. R. 

2 Chapman J. Milling, Red Carolinians (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina 
Press, 1940), 226. 

3 Joseph W. Barnwell, "The Second Tuscarora Expedition," The South Carolina Historical 
and Genealogical Magazine, X (January, 1909), no. 1, map facing 32. 

*C. R., II, 118. 

5 Justin Williams, "English Mercantilism and Carolina Naval Stores, 1705-1776," The 
Journal of Southern History, I (May, 1935), no. 2, 169-185. 


Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 231 

The Cape Fear region was ideally suited to the production of 
naval stores in the form of pitch, tar and turpentine. Vast acres 
of pine trees provided the raw material, and a network of 
navigable streams, with the Cape Fear as the main artery, made 
the exploitation of these resources possible. 

Among the far-sighted men who saw the potentialities of the 
region were George Burrington and Maurice Moore. Burrington 
came to North Carolina as governor in January, 1724, and before 
the end of three months he had arbitrarily lifted the Proprietors' 
ban against settlement on the Cape Fear. 6 The following winter 
he went there at the head of several exploratory parties which 
sounded the river inlet and channel and otherwise prepared the 
way for occupancy. 7 

With the physical and legal impediments to colonization re- 
moved, the settlers entered with Maurice Moore in the lead. 
Moore was a member of a wealthy and influential South Carolina 
family who came to North Carolina in 1713 to assist in putting 
down the Indian insurrection. He remained and married the 
daughter of Alexander Lillington, and through this union became 
connected with many of the most prominent families in North 
Carolina. 8 Because of his connections in both provinces he was 
able to influence a number of people to settle on the Cape Fear. 
Among those who came from South Carolina were his brothers, 
Roger and Nathaniel Moore, and Eleazar Allen and William Dry. 
From the Albemarle section came Edward Moseley, John Porter, 
John Baptista Ashe, Cornelius Harnett, the Elder, and others. 9 
Unlike the usual frontier immigrant, these men were not the poor 
and downtrodden, seeking relief from oppression. On the con- 
trary many of them were men who had attained wealth and in- 
fluence in their former homes and were seeking new opportunities 
to increase their economic and political well-being. They came 
with slaves and other property, and, beginning with the first 
recorded grants on June 3, 1725, 10 acquired vast landholdings. 
Not only did they secure large quantities of land, but they chose 

«C. R., II, 529. 

7 C. R., Ill, 138, 259, 434-435, 436. 

8 Samuel A. Ashe (ed.). Biographical History of North Carolina, From Colonial Times 
to the Present (Greensboro, N. C: Charles L. Van Noppen, 1905), II, 294; North Carolina 
Land Grants (office of the Secretary of State, Raleigh), I, 273. 

8 Mabel L. Webber, "The First Governor Moore and His Children," The South Carolina 
Historical and Genealogical Magazine, XXXVII (January, 1936), no. 1, 17-19; "Documentary 
History of Wilmington — No. 1," The North Carolina University Magazine, V (August, 1856), 
no. 6, 244; C. R., Ill, 338. 

10 New Hanover County Registry Records, E, 242; Land Grants, II, 263, 272-273. 

232 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the best locations along the navigable streams. 11 The small land- 
owner was not excluded, but he was discouraged from entering, 
and so the lower Cape Fear from the beginning became a region 
of large plantations, with an economy based not on agriculture, 
but on the pine forests with naval stores as the principal 

In this growing settlement it was natural that the need of a 
commercial center would arise. Maurice Moore anticipated this 
need and the result of his foresight was the town of Brunswick. 
For this village Moore chose a location on the west bank of the 
river about fifteen miles above its mouth and approximately the 
same distance below the point where the stream divided into two 
branches. While the forks offered certain advantages as a loca- 
tion, Moore's decision was influenced by the fact that a shoal in 
the river, called the "Flats," several miles above his chosen site, 
blocked the passage of all but small craft. 12 Naval stores were 
bulky and could be shipped economically only in large vessels. 
Brunswick was located in order that such ships might be accom- 

The village was situated on an elevated platform which offered 
a sweeping view of the river. The soil was sandy, but a good clay 
sub-soil provided a firm foundation. The location was generally 
level, though here and there were depressed beds of the small 
streams which drained the area. A slight indentation in the 
shore line offered some protection for shipping, and the depth of 
the channel at that point permitted vessels to anchor within 
a short distance of shore. 

Lots were laid off and on June 30, 1726, the first property 
transaction in the village occurred when Moore contracted to sell 
two of these lots to Cornelius Harnett, the father of the Revolu- 
tionary hero of the same name. 13 In the following year, Harnett, 
a tavern keeper, obtained a license to operate a ferry from 
Brunswick to the east side of the river. 14 This ferry was a link 
on the only road connecting the northern colonies with South 

n C. R., Ill, 254. 

12 Hugh Meredith, An Account of the Cape Fear Country, 1731, edited by Earl Gregg Swam 
(Perth Amboy, N. J.: Charles F. Heartman, 1922), 15-16; Evangeline W. and Charles M. 
Andrews (eds.), Journal of A Lady of Quality (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1921), 

is New Hanover County Registry Records, AB, 71. 

" C. R.. II, 698. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 233 

The village grew slowly, but by 1729 was of sufficient impor- 
tance to be designated as the seat of government of New Hanover 
Precinct which was established in that year. Though the town 
was not provided with a system of municipal government, it 
was stipulated that a courthouse be built there, and that the pre- 
cinct courts be held there, as well as all public and church 
elections. 15 

With this the village became the commercial and political 
center of the new settlement, but it was not long before a rival 
community began to develop a few miles upstream. The village 
of Newton had its beginning about 1733 16 when a few traders 
settled on the east bank of the river near the confluence of the 
northeast and northwest branches. This was a natural develop- 
ment. In early America there were few roads, and those that 
did exist were inferior and often impassable. Water transporta- 
tion went far to offset this deficiency, and all who could settled 
on or near navigable streams. The Cape Fear, with its many 
tributaries, served as a network of water highways and the point 
where the two branches of the river met was the logical trading 
place for the people who settled along these streams. Though 
large vessels could not proceed that far upriver, ships from the 
other North American colonies and from the West Indies could, 
and so it was as the center of local trade that Newton began and 

As time passed a bitter rivalry developed between the pro- 
moters of the two communities, but the die was cast in favor 
of the Newton faction when Gabriel Johnston arrived in the fall 
of 1734 to succeed Burrington as governor. Johnston acquired a 
lot in Newton as well as a tract of land adjoining the village and 
openly favored its development as opposed to that of Brunswick. 17 
The climax of this rivalry came in February, 1740, when Newton 
was incorporated as Wilmington. As a result of this action the 
seat of government of New Hanover County was transferred to 
Wilmington, as were all port officials. From this time on Wil- 
mington was the center of the lower Cape Fear. 18 

15 Walter Clark (ed.), The State Records of North Carolina (Winston, N. C: M. I. and 
J. C. Stewart, 1895-1896; Goldsboro, N. C: Nash Brothers, 1898-1906), XXIII, 146-147, (here- 
inafter cited as S. R.); C. R., IV, 486. 

16 Kemp P. Battle (ed.), "Letters and Documents, Relating to the Early History of the 
Lower Cape Fear," James Sprunt Historical Monograph No. U (Chapel Hill: The University 
of North Carolina Press, 1903), 60-61. 

17 Nina Moore Tiffany (ed.), Letters of James Murray, Loyalist (Boston, 1901), 36: S. R., 
XXIII, 133. 

i 8 S. R., XXIII, 146-149. 

234 The North Carolina Historical Review 

It was apparent to many persons whose scope of mind trans- 
cended mere political rivalry that this concentration of interest 
on Wilmington was a narrow policy. To them it was obvious that 
the continued existence of Brunswick as a deepwater harbor was 
of vital concern to the whole region. A well-populated port cap- 
able of furnishing adequate supplies and protection from enemy 
raids was the best means by which the entry of large vessels 
could be assured. The realization of this fact resulted in several 
steps being taken to encourage the growth of Brunswick. 

The port officials who moved to Wilmington in 1740 were 
transferred back to Brunswick. This meant that all Cape Fear 
shipping was required to enter and clear at the lower town. In 
1745 the General Assembly passed an act which contained pro- 
visions to strengthen property titles in the village, to govern its 
physical appearance, and to control moral conduct within its 
limits. A commission was appointed to administer the terms of 
the act, but this was not a municipal governing body in the com- 
monly accepted sense of the term. Instead it was a self -perpetu- 
ating body with restricted authority. 19 In 1766 the law was 
modified to allow the election of the members of this group by 
the inhabitants, but their powers remained the same. This was 
the closest the village ever came to attaining local government. 20 

Other important factors in the political development of the 
town were the receipt of the right to representation in the lower 
house of the General Assembly in 1757, 21 and its designation as 
the seat of government of Brunswick County upon its establish- 
ment in 1764. 22 The right of representation was shared with 
only seven other North Carolina towns, and as a county seat 
Brunswick again became a political center of some importance. 

In view of these conscious efforts to promote the importance 
of Brunswick, it is interesting to note that the most significant 
political phase of the town's history came about simply because 
the royal governors of North Carolina chose to make their home 
there from 1758 to 1770. North Carolina had no established 
capital at that time. The General Assembly meetings were held 
alternately at Wilmington and New Bern, but Brunswick, more 

is S. R., XXIII, 239-243. 
20 S. R., XXIII, 749-750. 
2i C. R., V, 890; VI, 228-229. 
22 S. R., XXIII, 622-627. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 235 

than any other place, might be termed the executive capital of 
the province during that period. 

Regardless of Brunswick's political status, its accessibility was 
its greatest asset and upon this its being rested. The Port of 
Brunswick, which also included Wilmington, was the largest 
port in North Carolina. In terms of tonnage about two-thirds of 
the shipping of the port used the harbor facilities of the town of 
Brunswick, with the balance going to Wilmington. Though the 
two towns were separated by only a few miles, there was a wide 
divergence in the nature of their commerce. Generally speaking, 
almost all of the shipping from Brunswick went to England, 
while that of Wilmington was about equally divided between 
other North American colonies and the British West Indies. 23 

As already stated the economic foundation of the Cape Fear 
was based on the products of the forest which consisted of naval 
stores, lumber and livestock. This last category is so classified 
because the pine mast, acorns, and wire grass of the wooded 
areas furnished the chief source of feed for the animals. 24 Con- 
trary to popular opinion, little rice was exported. 25 In fact, the 
region produced little other than the staples noted above, and 
there seems to have been relatively little land cultivated. 

Pitch, tar and turpentine were by far the chief exports. In the 
years immediately preceding the Revolution, almost half of 
the American exportations of these products were shipped from 
the Cape Fear. Almost this entire amount went from Brunswick 
to England. In the light of this fact and the English dependence 
on naval stores, it can be seen that the town was one of the 
strategic harbors of the British American colonies. 26 

In general, the lesser products were shipped in vessels that 
could proceed to Wilmington, and, undoubtedly, most of them 
did so. This assumption is based on the more central location 
of Wilmington and the fact that it was a bigger town with 
larger merchants residing there. 

The staple products of the Cape Fear furnished cash with 
which to buy goods produced elsewhere and as a result the 

23 British Public Records Office: Customs 16: I. Photostatic copy in the files of the Di- 
vision of Manuscripts, Library of Congress. (Hereafter cited as B. P. R. O.: Customs 16: I.) 

24 William Logan, "Journal of A Journey to Georgia, 1745." The Pennsylvania Magazine 
of History and Biography, XXXVI (1912), No. 1, 15; C. R., VIII, 71. 

25 [Lord Adam Gordon], "Journal of an Officer's Travels in America and the West Indies, 
1764-1765," Travels in the American Colonies, edited by Newton D. Mereness (New York: 
The Macmillan Company, 1916), 401; B. P. R. O.: Customs 16: I. 

26 B. P. R. O.: Customs 16: I. 

236 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Cape Fear always depended on the outside world for such goods 
as cloth, clothing, furniture, household utensils, hardware, gun- 
powder and shot, stationery, medical supplies, glass, spices, salt, 
tobacco, beer, rum, various foods, and numerous other things 
which served to make the lives of the people more complete and 
enjoyable. Even hay for livestock was brought in in sizable 
quantities. 27 The lack of domestic manufacturing with its at- 
tendant labor population, retarded the growth of Brunswick and 
of Wilmington as well. This, together with the sparse country 
population, due to the presence of large plantations, prevented 
the development of a commercial center on the lower Cape Fear 
capable of attracting the trade of interior North Carolina. 
Charleston, with its more favorable prices and better selections 
of merchandise, 28 assumed the role that Brunswick and Wilming- 
ton should have had in the colonial period, and that Wilmington 
might have had in later years. 

A significant factor in the lives of the people of Brunswick, 
and particularly of the mariners who shipped out of that port, 
was an ever-present fear of the Spaniards. A trade rivalry had 
long existed between Spain and England, and each nation made 
frequent attacks on the trade lines of the other. This activity 
was concentrated in West Indian waters, but the possibility of 
attack by a strong Spanish garrison stationed at St. Augustine 
was a constant source of concern to all the southern colonies. 29 

This rivalry culminated in 1739 with the outbreak of the 
War of Jenkins* Ear, and until the end of the conflict in 1748, 
the activities of both belligerents were greatly increased. Naval 
stores were among the English colonial products most highly 
prized by the Spaniards, and because of this the shipping of 
Brunswick suffered to a considerable extent. 30 

The war was brought home to the people of the town on 
September 4, 1748, when two Spanish privateers with blazing 
guns appeared before the town. Four days later the enemy was 
finally driven away, but only after great property damage had 

27 Brunswick Port Records, 1767-1775, kept by William Dry, collector, typewritten manu- 
script in the Library of the University of North Carolina, from the original in the archives 
of the North Carolina State Department of Archives and History. 

28 Adelaide L. Fries (ed.), Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, 1752-1822 (Raleigh: 
North Carolina Historical Commission, 1922-1930, 1941-1943; North Carolina State Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, 1947), I, 366, 377. 

20 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), September 24, 1736; December 31, 1736; March 4, 11, 18, 
1737; April 22, 1737; August 19, 1737; March 18, 1738; June 6, 1738. C. R., Ill, 362-363. 
30 South Carolina Gazette ( Charlestown ) , October 3, 1741; March 20, 1742. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 237 

been done. During this raid a mysterious explosion destroyed one 
of the privateers and this fortunate incident must be listed with 
the courage of the defenders as the reasons for the successful 
expulsion of the Spaniards. 31 This raid emphasized the exposed 
position of the town, and doubtless retarded its later growth. 

Fort Johnston near the mouth of the river, under construction 
at the time, offered some future security, but the fear of the 
Spaniards continued as long as Brunswick existed. 32 

According to local tradition the painting, Ecce Homo, hanging 
in the Vestry Room of St. James's Church in Wilmington, was 
among the objects of value obtained from the Spaniards as a 
result of their attack. Of greater significance is the fact that a 
portion of the proceeds from the sale of slaves and other goods 
obtained at the same time was used to complete the construction 
of St. Philip's Church in Brunswick, as well as St. James's 
Church. 33 

Religion came to Brunswick with the earliest settlers. John 
Lapierre, who arrived in the new settlement during the winter of 
1727-1728, was the first of an almost continuous line of Anglican 
ministers who served the people of the town. 34 This was the only 
communion that was ever active there. Though encouraged by 
sympathetic governors, these men of God were often faced with 
physical and economic hardships, and, worst of all, the religious 
apathy of a large segment of the people among whom they 
worked. 35 The walls of old St. Philip's Church stand today as a 
monument to the labor of these zealous men. 

Though James Murray, a resident, mentioned a chapel as 
being in Brunswick in 1736, 36 apparently the first permanent 
place of worship did not exist until the winter of 1744-1745. 
This was a small frame chapel, sixteen by twenty-four feet, 
which was used for divine services on Sundays and as a school 
during the week. The garret provided living quarters for the 
minister. This structure continued in use until the completion of 
St. Philip's Church in 1768. 37 

On Whit Tuesday, 1768, St. Philip's was dedicated in a solemn 

31 South Carolina Gazette ( Charlestown ) , October 31, 1748. 
82 Fries, Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, I, 259. 
33 S. R., XXIII, 537. 
«* C. R., Ill, 391, 530, 623-624. 

35 C. R., Ill, 530, 623-624; IV, 227, 621, 755, 791; VI, 730. 

36 Tiffany, Letters of James Murray, Loyalist, 26. 
87 C. R. IV, 605, 755; VI, 557, 730. 

238 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ceremony conducted by its rector, John Barnett, assisted by the 
Reverend John Wills of St. James's Church in Wilmington. 38 The 
completion of this church was the culmination of an effort ex- 
tending back more than a decade. It was an ambitious project 
and was built at a great cost. In addition to funds derived from 
the Spanish spoils it was financed by private subscription and by 
lottery. More than once work on the structure was stopped until 
additional money could be raised. 39 

Both governors Dobbs and Tryon encouraged the construction 
of St. Philip's, often when the outlook seemed darkest. Dobbs 
expressed his intention of making it the King's Chapel in North 
Carolina upon its completion and to donate to it the pulpit, Bible, 
Books of Common Prayer, and a special pew to be used by the 
governor and his council. In addition he was to furnish the 
Communion plate which he had been granted upon his appoint- 
ment to office. 40 Unfortunately Dobbs died before the construc- 
tion work was finished, and on March 29, 1765, his remains were 
interred in the incompleted structure. 41 Tryon not only con- 
tributed cash, but also furnished the windows complete with 
glass. 42 This latter donation stimulated the final work on the 

St. Philip's as completed was approximately fifty-five feet 
wide and seventy-seven feet deep with walls almost three feet 
thick. The roof was crowned with a small belfry, but other than 
this the exterior lines were very severe. The interior, with its 
arched ceiling, was provided with the customary furnishings of 
an Anglican Church. The building was described by Governor 
Dobbs as the largest church in the province, and undoubtedly it 
was one of the fine churches of colonial America. 48 

As might be expected the town of Brunswick developed in 
close proximity to its church. As early as June, 1726, Maurice 
Moore had completed the drawing of the plan of the town, and 
in 1745 the General Assembly directed that another be pre- 
pared. 44 Unfortunately neither of these plans has been located. 
However, county records and other sources provide information 

38 C. R. f VII, 789. 

ss C. R., VI, 32-33, 103; S. R., XXIII, 535-537; XXV, 391-392. 

» C. R., VI, 235, 237. 

41 South Carolina Gazette (Charlestown) , April 27, 1765. 

42 C. R., VII, 164, 515. 
™C. R., VI, 235; VII, 515. 

44 S. R., XXIII, 239, 240. New Hanover County Registry Records, AB, 71. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 239 

which, to some extent, fills this deficiency. A plan based on these 
fragmentary sources correlates very closely with the map of the 
town drawn in 1769 by C. J. Sauthier. 45 

As the site of the town Maurice Moore set aside 360 acres. A 
portion of this area was laid out in half-acre lots and specific 
areas were reserved for a church, cemetery, market place, court- 
house and other public buildings. 46 The original plan apparently 
contained 336 lots which, with the streets, would have occupied 
only about half the allocated acreage. These lots were 82% feet 
wide and 264 feet in depth. The city squares were seven lots 
across and two lots deep. There were twenty-four blocks in all; 
six along the river and four deep. In later years an additional 
square was laid off along the river to the north and possibly 
another to the west of this. The squares were separated by 
streets. Some of these ran north and south and were connected 
by others running east and west. About 150 to 200 feet from the 
river the first street of the town, known as the Street on the Bay 
or Front Street, ran parallel with the stream. The property be- 
tween this street and the water generally was transferred with 
the lot that it fronted. All other streets of the town ran parallel 
or at right angles to the Street on the Bay. The next street to the 
west was known as Second Street, but otherwise the names of 
the streets are not known. 

The scope of the town development was never in keeping with 
these optimistic plans. In the early years lots were sold along the 
entire waterfront as well as some interior lots chiefly within the 
first two tiers of blocks. As the years passed, however, the town 
became concentrated in the upper four squares along the river. 
The church was on the west side of Second Street just outside 
this area, and about midway between its northern and southern 
limits. The courthouse and jail occupied corner lots diagonally 
across from the church. With a few scattered exceptions the other 
buildings of the town were located between the church and the 

The streets of Brunswick were unpaved and did not always 
conform to the neat pattern planned for them. This gave the 
village a more irregular appearance than it would have had 

45 C. J. Sauthier, Plan of the Town and Port of Brunswick, in Brunswick County, North 
Carolina, surveyed and drawn in April, 1769 (printed, not published). 
«S. R., XXIII, 239. 

240 The North Carolina Historical Review 

otherwise. 47 Shade trees on the streets and in the yards and 
attractive fences around many of the homes provided a pic- 
turesque atmosphere. 

Unfortunately little is known of the buildings of Brunswick. 
There always existed a requirement that the houses be a mini- 
mum of sixteen feet wide by twenty feet deep. 48 This regulation 
seems to have been enforced, though many of the houses appear 
not to have exceeded this minimum to any great extent. On the 
other hand, there were several large homes with elaborate gar- 
dens. While most of the buildings of the town were residences, 
there were also at least one tavern, a number of stores, and ware- 
houses, as well as the church, courthouse, and jail. 49 It is not clear 
how many houses were frame and how many were brick, but 
there were some of both. We know the church was brick, but the 
earlier chapel was frame. The fact that the courthouse was blown 
down by a storm in 1769 indicates that it was of frame construc- 
tion. 50 When the home of William Dry was burned, the shell re- 
mained standing and this indicates that it probably was built of 
brick. 51 These fragmentary bits of evidence, however, tell us too 
little of the physical aspects of the town. 

Population figures for the town are almost non-existent. In 
1731 Hugh Meredith, a visitor, reported that Brunswick con- 
tained "not above 10 or 12 scattering mean Houses," 52 and in 
1754 Governor Dobbs wrote that twenty families lived there. 53 
At the same time he said Wilmington had seventy families. 54 
If his figures are not exact, they at least reflect the relative size 
of the two towns. In 1773 J. F. D. Smyth, another traveller, re- 
ported fifty to sixty houses, but his figure undoubtedly included 
non-residential buildings. 55 Sauthier's map of 1769 indicates 
there were about thirty-five residential buildings. These scat- 
tered figures indicate that Brunswick, in the years just prior to 
the Revolution, contained about 200 white persons and possibly 
fifty colored persons, or a total population of about 250 people. 

As the residents of a shipping and trading center, the people 
of Brunswick were predominantly engaged, directly or indirectly, 

47 Andrews, Journal of A Lady of Quality, 145. 

«S. R., XXIII, 241; New Hanover County Registry Records, AB, 71. 

49 Logan, "Journal of A Journey to Georgia," 14; C. R., IV, 755; IX, 1239. 

50 C. R., VIII, 71. 

51 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), April 5, 1776. 

52 Meredith, An Account of the Cape Fear Country, 14-15. 
™C. R., V, 158. 

5 * C. R., V, 158. 

65 J. F. D. Smyth, A Tour in the United States of America (Dublin, 1784), 55. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 241 

in those trades. But other people lived there. Most of these ran 
business establishments or gained a livelihood through the sale 
of their services. A few others, like Edward Moseley, the eminent 
provincial leader who spent his last years there, probably were 
motivated by nothing more than a desire to reside in the village. 

Among the early settlers were Dr. James Fergus, surgeon; 
Cornelius Harnett, James Espey, Hugh Blenning, and William 
Lord, tavern-keepers ; John Wright, John Porter, Richard Quince, 
and William Dry, Sr., merchants ; John McDowell and Edward 
Scott, sea captains; Thomas Brown and Edward Jones, carpen- 
ters; Richard Price, brickmaker; William Norton, blockmaker; 
Donald McKichan, tailor; and Hugh Campbell, clerk of court. 
A cross section of the population in later years reveals the same 
general make up. Among the residents at that time were William 
Gibson, Jonathan Caulkin, and Thomas Dick, house carpenters; 
David Smeeth, ship's carpenter; Christopher Cains, blacksmith; 
John Cains, shoemaker; Alexander McKitchan, tailor; Chris- 
topher Wotten, sail maker; James Mcllhenny, tavern keeper; 
Stephen Parker Newman, Revell Munro, and Thomas Mulford, 
sea captains; William Dry, Jr., and William Hill, port officials 
as well as merchants ; and John Fergus, physician. 56 

By far the most distinguished residents were governors Dobbs 
and Tryon, though strictly speaking their residence, Russellboro, 
was not within the limits of the town but adjoined it to the north. 
Dobbs, who followed Johnston as governor, acquired the property 
in 1758 and lived there until his death seven years later. Tryon 
purchased the property from Dobbs's son and resided there until 
he moved into the Palace at New Bern in 1770. It then became the 
home of William Dry, who changed its name to Bellfont. 57 

While the permanent residents of Brunswick appear to have 
formed a population essentially quiet and respectable, there was 
a lustier element in the life of the town. Much of the goods ship- 
ped out of Brunswick was brought down the river on rafts. The 
raftsmen were a vigorous group who worked hard and played 
hard. When these men joined the sailors from the vessels in the 
harbor the village no doubt resounded to the noise of their merry- 
making. We can be sure that they consumed their share of 

56 New Hanover County Registry Records, passim; Brunswick County Registry Records, 

57 New Hanover County Registry Records, D, 327; E, 309; Brunswick County Registry 
Records, D, 85. 

242 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the large quantities of rum imported and were at least part of the 
reason why James Moir, the Anglican minister, described the 
taverns of the town as the worst on the face of the earth, in more 
ways than one. In time specific laws were passed designed to 
moderate this particular phase of the life of the community. 58 

Probably the most widely publicized event in the history of 
Brunswick took place during Tryon's residence there. This was 
in connection with the Stamp Act imposed by the English Parlia- 
ment upon the American colonies. The passing of this act resulted 
in protestations throughout the provinces. The resistance of the 
Cape Fear people began with several riots in Wilmington in the 
fall of 1765 and was climaxed the following February in Bruns- 
wick with armed resistance to the royal governor. The immediate 
cause of this action was the seizure of several vessels for viola- 
tion of the act and their detention at Brunswick. Armed men 
from throughout the section gathered there, specifically to effect 
the release of the vessels, and more generally to bring the opera- 
tion of the hated law to an end. They stationed a guard around 
the governor's home, against his wishes, which, in effect, placed 
him under house arrest. Some time later they threatened force- 
ful entry into the home if Pennington, the comptroller of the 
Customs, who was there, continued to refuse to appear before 
their group. Under these circumstances the comptroller agreed 
to do their bidding, but only after Tryon had insisted upon and 
received his resignation. He then proceeded with the group to 
Brunswick to join the main body which numbered about 1,000 
men. There the demonstrators formed a large circle and in the 
center placed Pennington along with the collector of customs and 
the naval officer. These three men were then required to take an 
oath that they would never enforce the Stamp Act. Immediately 
thereafter the commander of the English naval forces in the 
river released the seized vessels. Having accomplished their 
mission, the men dispersed to their homes. With this the tension 
was released, but revolution had already cast its shadow over 
Brunswick. 59 

In the series of events that led to independence from England 
the activities in Brunswick followed the general pattern of the 
rest of America. The supplies sent from the Cape Fear in 1774 

58 C. R. IV 755; S. R. XXIII 239-243 

™ Virginia Gazette '(Williamsburg) , March 21, 1766; C. R., VII, 123-125, 127, 169-186. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 243 

to the aid of the beleaguered people of Boston following their 
"Tea Party" was but a single indication of sympathy with the 
trend of events. These supplies were shipped in a vessel furnished 
free of charge by a merchant of Brunswick. 60 The application of 
the various restrictions on British trade was a further reflection 
of this feeling. The people of Brunswick cooperated closely with 
those of Wilmington and of the nearby counties in determining 
the course of action followed. 61 

When Governor Martin, who had succeeded Tryon, fled from 
New Bern and arrived at Fort Johnston on June 2, 1775, Bruns- 
wick was thrown into the maelstrom of war. Martin began an 
active campaign to frustrate the efforts of the rebellious element 
in the colony, and to rally the loyal element around him. The 
following spring he was joined by the British generals, Clinton 
and Cornwallis, who came expecting to join the Loyalists in a 
move to subjugate North Carolina as well as the other southern 
colonies. The contemporary press reported that, in part, at least, 
this plan was designed to secure the lower Cape Fear as a source 
of naval stores for the fleet at Halifax, and the upper Cape 
Fear as a source of provisions for the British troops to the 
northward. 62 But upon their arrival in the Cape Fear the two 
generals learned that their dreams of easy conquest had been 
ended on February 27, 1776, by the American victory over the 
Loyalists at Moore's Creek Bridge. In late May, 1776, the 
British sailed southward to Charleston with hopes of more suc- 
cessful activity. 

The period in which the British were in the river was a fateful 
year for the town of Brunswick. At various times during this 
period local troops were placed in or near the village for its 
defense. At other times it was neglected. It had been the target 
of threats of destruction and of actual raids. 

An example of these raids, though it did not occur within the 
actual limits of the town, was staged in the early morning hours 
of May 10, 1776. About 900 of the men of Cornwallis and Clinton 
slipped up the river under cover of darkness, passed Brunswick, 
and landed at the plantation of General Robert Howe, a short 
distance upstream. They beat back the American guards from 

60 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), September 1, 1774. 

61 South Carolina Gazette (Charleston), August 13, 1770; April 3, 1775. 

62 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), October 11, 1776. 

244 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the bank of the river and proceeded to an American post on the 
Charles Town Road a little north of the town. Finding that the 
American forces of about 100 men had fled before them, they 
burned the post, a mill, and returned to their ships down river. 
This attack in itself had slight significance, and probably was 
little more than a military exercise for the British. 63 

Finally, under these conditions Brunswick was abandoned by 
its people, and English pillaging parties roamed its empty 
streets. At least part of the town was burned by the enemy, and 
among the residences destroyed was that of William Dry, the 
old home of Dobbs and Tryon. 64 Even after the English left it 
was still exposed to enemy attack, and because of this it held 
little attraction for other than a very few of its former in- 
habitants. 65 

Many of the people of Brunswick sought the comparative 
safety of Wilmington. These included William Hill, Dr. John 
Fergus, Capt. Stephen Parker Newman, and others. William Dry 
moved to his up-river plantation, Blue Banks. Some, like Richard 
Quince, lay buried in their graves. 

With the loss of its population the complete disintegration of 
the town followed. The state constitution of 1776 took away the 
right of representation, 66 and in the same year the office of cus- 
toms collector was transferred to Wilmington. 67 In 1779 the 
political dissolution was completed with the removal of the 
county seat to a more secure location at Lockwood's Folly. 68 In 
later years we get an occasional glimpse of the old town through 
the eyes of passing travellers. Johann Schoepf in the early 1780 , s 
reported it as almost totally demolished and abandoned. 69 A few 
years later Robert Hunter wrote that the town had been partly 
destroyed by the British during the war, but many believed that 
they had been assisted by the slaves from the nearby plantation 
of General Robert Howe. He added that "only the ruins, with 
two or three houses that have been since built, are now to be 

63 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), June 29, 1776; Connecticut Courant (Hartford), June 
17, 1776. 

64 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), April 5, 1776. 

65 Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), March 22, 1776; April 5, 1776; Winslow C. Watson (ed.), 
Men and Times of the Revolution; or Memoirs of Elkanah Watson (New York: Dana and 
Company, 1856), 41. 

68 S. R., XXIII, 980. 
67 S. R., XXIII, 987-988. 
os S. R., XXIV, 248-249, 631-632. 

09 Johann D. Schoepf, Travels in the Confederation [1783-17841, edited and translated by 
Alfred J. Morrison (Philadelphia: William J. Campbell, 1911), II, 145. 

Old Brunswick, the Story of a Colonial Town 245 

seen." 70 Bishop Francis Asbury, writing in 1804, gives us a later 
view by describing the once thriving village as "an old town; 
demolished houses, and the noble walls of a brick church : there 
remain but four houses entire." 71 Even so, county records reflect 
occasional transfers of lots in the village as late as 1819. 72 But 
the incorporation of the site of the town into Orton Plantation by 
a state land grant dated 1845 marks the final and complete pass- 
ing of the town. The price paid to the state was $4.25. 73 

Brunswick ceased to exist because the principal reason for its 
being ceased to exist. The war brought the end of the British 
market for naval stores, and after the conflict the shipping out 
of the Cape Fear was chiefly coastal, and this trade could be, 
and was, handled through the harbor facilities of Wilmington. 
By the time the region regained a dominant role in the naval 
stores industry, Brunswick was but a memory. 

It is obvious from this paper that there are many things not 
known about the town of Brunswick. This is especially true of 
its physical aspects. Some of these gaps might be filled by later 
documentation ; others only by archaeological investigation. 
Brunswick is an ideal location for a project of this nature. It 
has not been occupied to any significant extent since the time it 
was a thriving colonial seaport. Today it is covered with wild 
growth and surface deposits accumulated over a period of almost 
two centuries. Excavation under this surface would yield several 
interesting results. It would reveal the form and layout of a 
colonial village unadulterated by later occupancy; foundations 
would reveal much about the architecture of the buildings, and 
of the nature of their construction ; artifacts would tell us much 
of the everyday lives of the people. These findings, viewed as the 
remains of a type rather than of a single, isolated community, 
would have more than local significance. Brunswick could well 
be the North Carolina counterpart of the Jamestown excava- 

70 Robert Hunter, Jr., Quebec to Carolina In 1785-1786; Being the Travel Diary and Ob- 
servations of Robert Hunter, Jr., A Young Merchant of London, edited by Louis B. Wright 
and Marion Tinling (San Marino, Cal.: The Huntington Library, 1943), 287. 

71 Francis Asbury, The Journal of the Rev. Francis Asbury, Bishop of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, From August 7, 1771, to December 7, 1815 (New York: N. Bangs and T. 
Mason, 1821), III, 130. 

72 Brunswick County Registry Records, H, 428. 

73 North Carolina Land Grants, CL, 150. 

By Frontis W. Johnston 

Once upon a time, long, long ago, I learned how to reduce frac- 
tions to the lowest common denominator. My mathematical edu- 
cation must have been tragically incomplete, for I never was 
taught how to reduce eighteen varied volumes to even a sem- 
blance of similitude. I am, even now, aware of no formula which 
will enable me to simplify prunes and plums — and we have some 
of each — into a reasonably orderly equation. The failure of 
mathematics to provide a neat and unified solution to our query 
means that we are still left with eighteen problems to solve, in- 
stead of one. So be it, for we cannot quarrel with statistics. 

A bit of casual research has shown me that each of my recent 
predecessors in this spot on your annual program has testified 
to the difficulty of the assignment before him. In spite of the 
fact that a measure of mathematical efficiency has operated to 
subtract the fiction from the competition this year, I would like 
to join their ranks and make the testimony unanimous. The only 
unity these volumes before us can possibly have is the only one 
they need in order to be before us : each was written by a North 
Carolinian and now contends for the Mayflower Cup Award. The 
fact that five come from residents of Raleigh, five from Durham, 
two from Chapel Hill and two from Greensboro, whereas the 
remaining four are from the hinterlands, reveals only a geo- 
graphic, not a literary, kinship. Some are published by national 
presses, some by university presses, and others by private print- 
ers. The fact that the fields of religion, history, literary criticism, 
economics, and autobiography dominate is both accidental and 
incidental. We may make what we will of such features, but the 
only meaning we may safely assume is — to return to mathe- 
matics — that the whole is equal to the sum of its parts. Since we 
have not solved the sum it is time we turned to the parts. 

Religion, I suppose, should come first, even with a historian. 
Since it makes little difference where we begin, we shall reach 
in a thumb and pull out a plum called God Makes A Difference by 
Dr. Edwin McNeill Poteat. Here is an effort to draw up a treaty 
of peace between science and theology now that their long and 
fruitless warfare is over — a war which should never have been 


North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 247 

declared. It suggests that the quest for truth should become a 
partnership, not a conflict ; that "if to the scientist the fact has 
been his faith, to the religionist the faith has been his fact." The 
purpose of this book is to bring faith and fact together, at least 
in inquiry, if not in agreement. The book is an eloquent and 
learned plea for unity of search, believing that science, however 
correct its findings may have been, cannot encompass the totality 
of experience. The method of reconciliation proposed is not so 
much of eradicating the differences as of identifying the similari- 
ties. It contends that if "nature never did betray the heart that 
loved her/' neither did God. 

Dr. Poteat argues that both science and religion are based on 
hypotheses, or inventions, and that the invention of the idea of 
God is most inclusive for meaning in our world. God is the grand 
hypothesis of theistic faith, for "faith is the posture of the soul 
poised on hypothesis." Add this idea of God to the hypotheses of 
naturalism, and it makes a difference in our understanding of 
nature, of God himself, of history, and of man. The author shows 
how this difference will color our thinking and extend the areas 
in which good will and intelligence can meet. It will allow us to 
break out of closed systems of thought which, though they give 
satisfactions because of their neatness, may become cells of a 
prison which incarcerates the human spirit. Against this back- 
ground Dr. Poteat discusses the idea of God in relationships 
which conventional theology does not employ: in home, school, 
society, court, market place; in love, law, pain, and death, as 
well as in redemption and immortality. Through the use of scien- 
tific discovery, Biblical interpretation, and classical philosophy 
there is constructed a bridge across which naturalism and theism 
may walk freely together. Nowhere in this learned discourse is 
this mutuality more ably argued than in that chapter on that 
knotty subject — to a rationalist at least — of immortality. If 
nuclear physics, in its concept of energy, gives us a sort of im- 
mortality that can be empirically established, it suggests also a 
convergence of scientific explanation and traditional thought 
forms that have so long contained the essence of religious faith. 

This volume is not for bedtime reading. One cannot relax and 
read it too. The result of wide reading and deep thinking, it is 
written by a master of language who always finds the right word. 

248 The North Carolina Historical Review 

He gets at the essence of his idea with clarity, but also with 
charm and whimsy, as witness his discussion of the word com- 
munity, or his probing into the real meaning of Judas. I do not 
know the personal habits of Dr. Poteat, but I do know that in his 
study of the "faith of nature and the nature of faith," his brain 
has not been his least-used muscle. 

Speculative thought, such as Dr. Poteat offers, has no place 
in Clarence H. Brannon's An Introduction to the Bible. This 
archeological and historical analysis of the King James version 
comes to us from Raleigh, but from the devoted disciple and 
biographer of the late Dr. Allen H. Godbey of Duke. Accepting 
the theory of progressive revelation, it is a book-by-book exami- 
nation based upon the latest scholarship. But scholars still quar- 
rel over much of the Bible, and Mr. Brannon must pick his way 
with care. He has ideas and conclusions: David is definitely 
debunked; Elijah is a climatic failure; Moses is the great Old 
Testament hero; Jeremiah was great, though un-Semitic, and 
cannot properly be called the prophet of lamentations, for surely 
if he wept a little he whined and cursed a great deal more. Paul 
is, after Jesus, Christendom's greatest figure, though Jews will 
disagree about both. On Judas the author reminds us of Mr. 
Legette Blythe's A Tear For Judas, but neither writer pictures 
the historical figure and neither probes his ultimate meaning like 
Dr. Poteat. Jude is accepted as the author of Hebrews, following 
Dubarle. With Dr. Torrey of Yale, Mr. Brannon seems to accept 
the theory that much of the New Testament was written origin- 
ally in Aramaic rather than in Greek. The Virgin Birth is dis- 
missed as unimportant and there is no sympathy for anyone who 
would argue over Revelation. With many of these conclusions 
other scholars will quarrel. The treatment is non-theological and 
non-sectarian, though modern moralizing about atomic bombs 
inevitably creeps in. Though he is a Presbyterian elder, Mr. 
Brannon's views on election will not square with those of John 
Calvin. There is little comfort anywhere for the fundamentalist : 
there are doubtless some things for which Mr. Brannon would go 
to the stake, but Adam's rib is not one of them. 

Numerous books by John Raymond Shute, long-time mayor of 
Monroe, North Carolina, and sometime president of the North 
Carolina League of Municipalities, have testified to his varied 

North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 249 

intellectual interests. The Seer, like most of the others, defies 
neat classification. In part, it consists of hoary jokes dressed in 
the dignified language of parable, but, like the rose, by any 
other name they still smell, though not like the rose. In the main, 
however, we have the reflections of a vigorous mind which has 
broken with dogmatic creeds and departed the temples of child- 
hood to seek solace among other gods, striving to live in tune with 
humanity around it. The book has about it the strangeness of 
familiarity. Khalil Gibran's The Prophet comes to mind again 
and again ; it is perhaps as good a guess as any as to the inspira- 
tion of this strange medley. Its irony is poked at the practices and 
institutions of formal creeds, but it is often too subtle for its 
purpose and certainly too confused for clarity. Amid the verbi- 
age of the parabolic method it seems to say, though I would not 
be too sure of it, that God is a human concept made to function 
in the mental pattern of man; that we are all divine; that the 
Kingdom of God is within us ; that "man does not require author- 
ity for his religion if he makes religion his authority." This is as 
close as I can come to what I cannot resist the temptation to call 
the "Monroe Doctrine." 

As we move from religion to history each of you may decide 
for himself whether we follow ascending or descending order. 
But, either way, it seems appropriate to begin with a work 
whose scope is an entire hemisphere. The pre-Columbian history 
of the Americas is being pieced together into an impressive 
panorama by the patient toil of learned anthropologists and dili- 
gent archeologists. In Americans Before Columbus Elizabeth 
Chesley Baity takes the learning and makes it intelligible to 
the layman. Informal and conversational in tone, the writing is 
dominated by the spirit of an informed imagination, restrained 
by a respect for the facts of the epic story. But by means of fact 
and imagination, and fifty pages of pictures, we are taken on the 
journey of those first Americans who, pushed south by the cold 
breath of the ice age, passed in restless generations for twenty 
thousand years across the face of America. Parts of our jour- 
ney reveal the fascinating ways in which the remote past may 
even yet speak to him who has eyes to hear ; other parts give us 
glimpses and insights of fabulous figures of yore, from "Minne- 
sota Minnie" to the Incas of the Andean mountains. Here we 

250 The North Carolina Historical Review 

have both a detective story and a peep show, and we become 
grateful that earth kept a record until man became intelligent 
enough to read it. 

It is not only the earth which has kept historical records — 
men and nations make them too. One of these men is Harry S. 
Truman, and one of the nations is the United States. Regardless 
of one's political opinions it would be hard to read Jonathan 
Daniels's The Man of Independence without wondering whether 
this is possibly what posterity will say about Harry S. Truman. 
The study reveals a "typical American" who has exhibited no 
evidences of imaginative leadership, instinctive wisdom, or lofty 
principles, but who nevertheless mirrors the average American 
in his personality, outlook, and experience. It is the Daniels 
thesis that the color and flavor of America is personified by 
Truman, and his book is therefore as much the biography of 
contemporary America as of its president, who becomes an ex- 
ample of how the American democratic faith sustains itself 
through the capacity of ordinary men to govern themselves. The 
country may have needed more than Truman, but it might have 
got — or get — worse. 

This thesis makes for an interesting but highly controversial 
book. We have long known that Mr. Daniels not only has a mind 
of his own but, like his father before him, can speak it as well. 
He speaks it here in a style which is always distinguished, fre- 
quently beautiful, and sometimes brilliant. Written from intimate 
knowledge, and with perception and sympathy, the tone is one of 
admiration bordering on adulation, and some have thought it "so 
cloying in its sweetness as to curdle honey." The pun in the title 
is evident throughout. We cannot here summarize the author's 
position on the many controversial aspects of Truman's career. 
May we say, however, that on the subjects of Pendergast, Byrnes, 
Civil Rights, the 1944 convention, and a dozen other such ques- 
tions, Jonathan Daniels tries hard to be fair. Perhaps, even, he 
is fair, but — try as he may — all his adjectives seem to fight on 
Truman's side. 

From the hemisphere and the nation a certain logical order 
brings us to the state, and to our own state of North Carolina. In 
The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina, 1894-1901, 
Dr. Helen G. Edmonds has written a competent monograph on a 

North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 251 

subject which has needed investigation for fifty years. Examin- 
ing a turbulent and controversial period of North Carolina's 
political history characterized by the resurgence of the Negro in 
political life, she has marshalled the irrefutable evidence of facts 
and figures to modify the verdict of the more emotional and prej- 
udiced treatments of former years. She shows that the number 
of Negro office-holders was never large, and that Negro office- 
holding, on any political level, as an act in itself, provided fuel 
for the ousted Democrats to raise the cry of Negro domination. 
Dr. Edmonds is also aware of the economic motives behind the 
glare of race, and she admits the complexities of the period, but 
her emphasis remains upon the racial issue in politics. Her con- 
clusions seem likely to meet the test of historical examination, 
for she has made a thorough use of both private and public 
documentary material, and these deserve a respectful hearing. 
Essentially a sound work, the book is undistinguished in style, 
and is occasionally marred by a contentious spirit which delights 
in quoting from the dead, remarks which they would now likely 
be too intelligent to repeat. 

Logic would seem to say that from state history we should 
move to county history; so we shall follow logic and examine 
Essays on North Carolina History, by Clarence W. Griffin. The 
writings of Mr. Griffin of Forest City are familiar to almost 
every literate person in North Carolina who has any interest in 
the history of his state. These essays, gleaned from various 
sources, most of them official, recall the already familiar back- 
drop of the author's historical interest: old houses, old land- 
marks, and old characters of Rutherford. Not so solid or 
scholarly a volume as his earlier The History of Old Tryon and 
Rutheniord Counties, it still affords us some good descriptions of 
appurtenances of bygone days, such as water-powered grist- 
mills and covered bridges; and we even learn why Republicans 
live in the mountains. 

While Rutherford County is again, as usual, Mr. Griffin's 
special grazing ground, he allows himself occasionally to roam 
into the outer pastures of the surrounding area for the sake of a 
few wild oats. The title of the volume is a bit pretentious, for 
most of the essays are reprints from a newspaper column writ- 
ten in the water of the fourth estate more than two years ago. 

252 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Since these articles are not necessarily related to one another and 
follow no chronological — or any other kind of — order, one 
wonders if their original title might not be the more fitting one : 
"Dropped Stitches in Rutherford History." 

From county to town is an easy step, and we move to Fayette- 
ville with John A. Oates. In The Story of Fayetteville and the 
Upper Cape Fear Mr. Oates presents two hundred years of local 
history of the most inclusive sort in a massive volume. It is safe 
to assert that virtually anything you wish to know about Fayette- 
ville, and a good deal that you don't, is in this tome of almost 
nine hundred pages. But you probably cannot locate it, for the 
organization is bad and there is no index, and it has one chapter 
which is four hundred pages in length. Yet the men and women 
of a glorious past are made to live again, and their activities and 
ambitions in the political, educational, and religious life of the 
region are developed in proper perspective. The result of dili- 
gent research, it will prove a useful fountain of fact and folklore 
about the upper Cape Fear region. 

History can become more local than the town, for communi- 
ties develop institutions and these often deserve portrayal. We 
have three samples : one of a church, one of a school, and one of a 
secret order. 

Biography of a Country Church is by Garland A. Hendricks 
and is a centennial history of Olive Chapel Baptist Church in 
Wake County. Written by the pastor, it traces the adventures of 
the church from the eleven-member beginning of 1850 to its mem- 
bership of 560 a century later. But though we travel with this 
church for a full hundred years we wonder if we are ever taken 
inside. We learn, to be sure, of its physical growth, its building 
programs, and its fiscal progress, but there is little or nothing of 
its spiritual biography as a factor in the life of the community. 
There are, it is true, occasional glimpses of the rural heritage at 
work, and there are interesting accounts of key personalities, 
such as the "Prophet of the Ridge," but there is, by contrast, 
little evidence of the passion for righteousness by which the 
cultural level of the community is said to have been raised. 
Though the crucial achievement of this church is claimed to be its 
success in "making the Christian religion a qualifying factor 

North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 253 

in every aspect of community life," we must take this on faith 
which, according to St. Paul, is the evidence of things not seen. 

The School of Textiles, N. C. State College, Its Past and 
Present, by T. R. Hart, is a labor of love written from the inti- 
mate knowledge of a third of a century at N. C. State College. 
Like most schools, this one is more than the lengthened shadow 
of any one man. Stimulated by the labors of such men as Heriot 
Clarkson and Daniel A. Tompkins at the turn of the century, and 
ably led by Dean Thomas Nelson in a later era, a separate textile 
school was established in 1925. Aided by the contributions of 
private industry and by the gratifying results of textile research, 
the school has today taken its place — which is one of signifi- 
cance — in the growing industrialization of North Carolina and 
the South. If one wishes to read a streamlined account of the 
establishment of this school, its administrative leaders, its 
faculty, facilities, curriculum, the location of its alumni, or its 
services to the textile industry, one can find it all in this compe- 
tent volume by the present director of instruction. 

Equally authentic is Greensboro Lodge No. 76,A.F.&A. M., in 
which Early W. Bridges, author of Masonic Governors of North 
Carolina, past master of Greensboro Lodge No. 76, and curator 
of the Masonic Museum, offers a history of the lodge, done in the 
filiopietistic spirit of an official historian. The heart of the book 
is the series of sketches of masters of the lodge over its life of 
130 years. Written largely from the minutes of the lodge, and 
from a number of secondary sources, it gives us the straight- 
forward and largely unadorned account of the life and expan- 
sion of an important component part of the sweet land of 
secrecy. "Masonry is a profession," wrote Dr. Hubert Poteat. 
In this vein we have portrayed the "spirit of '76." 

There remain two studies which we may include in the his- 
torical category, and their wide variance illustrates the inclu- 
siveness of that discipline. The Navy and Industrial Mobilization 
in World War II illustrates how the recent global conflict taught 
us lessons on the industrial front as well as on the military. 
Robert H. Connery, professor of public administration at Duke 
University, gives us an impressive example of administrative 
history done in the soundest manner of thorough scholarship. 
His work is a history of the Navy ashore, and the story is domi- 
nated by the statesmanship of one man, James Forrestal. It was 

254 The North Carolina Historical Review 

he who led the material organization and greatly improved the 
administrative structure of the Department of the Navy. It was 
he who balanced civilian control and operational freedom to the 
satisfaction of both. The tremendous problems of industrial mo- 
bilization, and the organization to effect it, are described in 
faithful detail. How can a nation centralize policy-making and 
decentralize operations ? How can that "magic blend of profit and 
patriotism" be attained? What is the relation between strategy 
and logistics? One may read the answers in the decisions con- 
cerning contracts, allocations, priorities, and procurements in 
an enterprise in which dollars were of no consideration after 
1941. Above all else we learn two things from this story: there is 
a science as well as an art of mobilizing for war ; and there is no 
easy or cheap way to win a global conflict. This is a hundred bil- 
lion dollar story. On the morning of the tenth anniversary of 
Pearl Harbor it is pleasant to have such abundant evidence that 
the Navy recovered from that treacherous blow. 

Equally impressive is American Sociology by Howard W. 
Odum. From the vantage point of the mid-century position a 
distinguished sociologist has told the story of the rise of his 
own subject from the groping frontier stage into a mature 
academic position. Some of the professional language is present, 
but the book is not written for the specialist so much as for the 
layman. Here is the tale of a dynamic discipline which has 
spawned a thousand Ph.D.'s and a jargon of its own. It is pri- 
marily the story of teaching, research, and writing, of societies 
and journals, with emphasis upon men more than upon move- 
ments. Here we may find the heritage and trends, the promise 
and prospect of a promiscuous mistress, for sociology has never 
achieved the integrity of one science. From Ward and Sumner 
and Giddings to Odum himself the procession marches on before 
us in full display, prolific and prolix. They have pioneered in 
social theory and industrial relations, in race and family and 
population studies, in regionalism, and in a dozen other cate- 
gories. Religion as a social institution they appear to have 
neglected ; or, to put it another way, they have avoided analysis 
of any value systems. And sociology has been very critical of 
the magnificent generalizations of a Spengler or a Toynbee. 
Sumner's Science of Society now disclaims being a science of 

North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 255 

progress. It has sought no pot of gold at the rainbow's end. Yet, 
as Gerald Johnson has said, the average American regards soci- 
ology somewhat as he does penicillin : "It is obviously a necessity 
in the modern world. It has worked some marvelous cures and 
promises to work more, but it is tricky. Unintelligently handled, 
its toxicity can be terrific and the greatest experts don't know 
any too much about the after effects." But if anybody knows, it 
will likely be Dr. Howard Washington Odum. Certainly he knows 
everything else about American sociology. 

From Duke University there are two studies of literary fig- 
ures. In The Literary Career of Nathaniel Tucker, 1750-1807, 
Professor Lewis Leary, already the author of a most successful 
life of Philip Freneau, offers the story of the career of another 
failure. Nathaniel Tucker was an admittedly minor poet of the 
eighteenth century, distinguished only by a literary ambition and 
an itch for fame which he never realized. Coming from his native 
Bermuda to Charleston in 1771, "where gallantry was a pleasant 
avocation," he soon went to England where he spent the remain- 
ing thirty years of life in the literary exercise of "wrenching a 
rhyme into place" as an avocation, and engaging in the desultory 
practice of medicine as a vocation. His poems were emotional 
and furious but essentially without meaning and certainly with- 
out distinction. They were usually imitative and always didactic, 
attempting to discover amid the murky tangle of cruelty dis- 
played by man to man some intelligent pattern which the vir- 
tuous might follow. Listen: 

Great God of Nature, is it so, 
Was man created but for wo? 
Must all the pleasure he can share 
Confirm and heighten his despair? 

Some future period in thy plan, 
Must justify thy ways to man. 

Convinc'd, even while with grief deprest, 
That all thy kind decrees are best. 

This is retreat, and it is not surprising that in later life Tucker 
found in Swedenborg refreshment and solace, for the rational 
precision of the eighteenth century was incapable of explaining 

256 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the irrational conduct of man. This was the transcendentalism 
of escape, and Tucker might fittingly take a place in Edwin 
Arlington Robinson's gallery of conspicuous failures. But one 
man's poison is another man's meat; Professor Leary has made 
a critical success for himself out of the literary failure of another. 
What there is at Duke which makes escapism attractive I do 
not know. But I do know that another Duke professor, Loring 
Baker Walton, in Anatole France and the Greek World, has ex- 
amined the literary career of that expert amateur in antiquity 
who hypnotized himself with the beautiful past, not of Sweden- 
borg, but of Homer and Spohocles and Phidias. Anatole France 
once said that when he died he knew the worms of scholarship 
would swarm over his literary corpse. Yet this worm has bored 
with a sympathy and an appreciation and a vast learning which 
must have eased the ordeal of the victim. The worm has turned 
up a carcass which had a voraciously curious mind, enthusiastic 
rather than systematic, and whose pen wrote as one who lived 
as well as loved the myths which saturated his being. The great 
charm of Anatole France was, as was the charm of the Greeks, 
that he was ever a grown-up child, brought up on myths and 
never tiring of them even when he ceased to believe them ; they 
were beautiful veils thrown over the mystery of life. "The man 
who made a museum of his own home always felt at home in 
museums." In his nine journeys to the regions of antiquity, and 
in scores of vicarious ones, he learned to worship Greece as a 
substitute for the Christian faith he had lost. Militantly anti- 
clerical, he was ever hostile to the jealous Hebrew God of Christi- 
anity; he idolized polytheism and worshipped Greek humanity 
and beauty as the supreme achievement of the human race. In 
the panorama of life spread out behind us Greece was its most 
beautiful moment. But the Greek minds abhorred a miracle, be- 
lieving they had the courage to face reality : France had no such 
courage. Aristotle admitted that the Greeks were not a happy 
people : neither was Anatole France. Professor Walton has writ- 
ten a beautiful book to clarify France's position as an exponent of 
the antique and to show the impact of Greek culture on modern 
French literature. Though the book is directed principally to 
France specialists and to literary historians we, who are neither, 

North Carolina Non-Fiction Works for 1951 257 

can still be happy that we did not follow his frank admonition 
and skip a couple of chapters. We had to watch the worm turn. 

Economics is represented by only one book, but it is well repre- 
sented. Calvin B. Hoover and B. U. Ratchford, two more Duke 
scholars, have given us a great deal to chew on in their volume on 
Economic Resources and Policies of the South. Do not let the 
appearance of this book discourage you. It looks formidable 
because of its nearly one hundred statistical tables and its dozen 
charts, together with the staggering array of footnotes which 
testify to the scholarship of the authors. But there is reward for 
the serious reader as he journeys down the assembly line of 
facts about the productive resources of the South. For this 
volume is not simply a collection of facts, but an interpretation 
as well, particularly as the data bear on the problem of lifting 
income in the South, which is the central theme of the study. 

The result is a sound and sensible analysis of the structure of 
southern economy which never claims overwhelming riches for 
the region, as some more careless enthusiasts have formerly as- 
serted. On the contrary, it presents a picture of a region whose 
soil is relatively poor, whose income is low, whose educational 
system is inadequate, and which is short on its proportionate 
share of industry, machinery, and banking, and whose produc- 
tion and marketing system is faulty. Analysis is followed by con- 
clusion : whereas the South does not have unlimited resources or 
great wealth, proper policies could raise the present level of 
income to a substantially higher figure. Education and carefully 
selected industry are suggested as the most feasible means, 
offering substantial rewards. This is the best of several analyses 
of southern resources, and it is the best because the findings have 
been digested as well as discovered. It is a reference to which 
scholars will continually turn for both knowledge and wisdom. 

Wisdom of quite another kind is furnished us by the remaining 
two volumes of our original eighteen. It comes through the 
medium of autobiography. 

In the September, 1951, issue of The Woman's Home Com- 
panion Turnley Walker, still not really recovered from polio, 
wrote as follows : "On the advice of two well-known editors and 
a family friend, I wrote a little book about what I was seeing 
and feeling and, though I still could not walk, I made myself 
walk at the close of the little book. When the words were down 

258 The North Carolina Historical Review 

on paper I knew that some day, in some manner, my nearly help- 
less legs would actually accomplish this." 

The "little book," called Rise Up And Walk, became a Book-of- 
the-Month Club selection, its pages revealing even more con- 
vincingly than does the quotation, the valor of the victim. For it 
is the mental autobiography of a polio patient ; it is a powerful 
personal testimony that polio is a lonely place, a quiet life where 
nothing moves but the wheels in the brain. It is not a medical 
answer but the reply of the human spirit to a shattering experi- 
ence. This slender volume is beautifully written with an economy 
of words, and its simplicity carries conviction. 

A Southern Lawyer by Aubrey Lee Brooks is the autobiog- 
raphy of an outstanding southern liberal who grew up with the 
"Hartford of the South," and who has made a reputation for 
himself not only as a lawyer but as an author and an editor as 
well. Mr. Brooks tells his story with simplicity and directness, 
and it is characterized by a certain mellow philosophy which 
contributes to its unfailing interest. It has about it an authentic 
southern flavor, more easily recognized than defined, and exudes 
the atmosphere of both Cavalier and Puritan attitudes which 
were the author's heritage. His life has about it, as he tells it, 
a certain quality of infallibility: if he ever made a mistake or 
committed an error of judgment it is not recorded here — at least 
not as an error. His book is filled with anecdotes and employs 
his intimate knowledge of many of the great and would-be-great 
in North Carolina and beyond. Fair-mindedness characterizes 
his accounts of numerous celebrated cases in North Carolina, 
such as the Lassiter case, the Cole case, the Cannon-Reynolds- 
Holman case, in each of which he played a conspicuous part. His 
account of the Richardson case is not exactly the way in which 
other Presbyterians might tell it. Still we may conclude that 
Mr. Brooks has achieved that quality of perspective which com- 
bined with age and wisdom and sincerity gives dignity to litera- 
ture as well as to life. 

It seems evident that we have found, in this analysis, no com- 
mon denominator. But I, for one, am glad of it. North Carolina 
is celebrated as a state of varied resources, and if we could have 
boiled down her literary production into one pattern we would 
be out of tune with her principal characteristic — the infinite 
riches of variety. 


Edited By Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


From William Scott Worth 104 
By Telegraph 

Greensboro N. C. 

Oct. 2nd 1867. 
Maj Jas P. Roy 
Act'g Pro Mar Gen'l. 
2 nd Mil Dist 
Charleston S. C. 

Jesse C. Griffith has been sheriff and Zacharrias Hoper Jailor of 
Caswell County N. C. Since I have been in command of this Post, 
and I understand have held that position for the last two years. 

Capt and Bvt Maj U. S. A. 

Com'd'g Post. 
A true copy 
L. V. Caziarc 
A. D. C. A A A A G. 
Hdqs 2d mily Dist 
Nov. 11, 1867 

From Edgar W. Dennis 105 

Headquarters Second Military District, 
Judge Advocates Office, 
Charleston S. C. October 4, 1867 
Lieutenant Louis V. Caziarc, 
Act. Asst. Adjt General 

The papers in the case of Wm. M. Johnson, are respectfully 
returned with the following remarks: 106 

William M. Johnson is a citizen of Rockingham County, North 
Carolina, was a union man, belonging to the army of the so-called 
Confederate States. In the spring of 1863, he deserted from that 
army and endeavored to raise a company of men to cross with 
him to the Federal lines. He was closely pressed by rebel con- 
script hunters, and being without money, or food, he with two 

104 William Scott Worth of New York entered the army as a second lieutenant on April 26, 

1861, and rose to the rank of brigadier general before his retirement on November 9, 1898. He 
was brevetted for meritorious service at Petersburg and in the campaign which terminated 
with the surrender of General Lee at Appomattox. Heitman, Historical Register and Dic- 
tionary of the United States Army, I, 1061. 

los Edgar Whetten Dennis joined the New York artillery on December 27, 1861, and served 
as a private until February 20, 1862, when he was promoted to first lieutenant. On July 11, 

1862, he was promoted to the rank of captain and on January 19, 1865, he became a major. 
He was brevetted a lieutenant colonel on December 2, 1865, and remained in the army until 
his resignation on May 22, 1869. He died on April 2, 1878. Heitman, Historical Register and 
Dictionary of the United States Army, I, 367. 

106 See General Canby's letter of November 14, 1867. 


260 The North Carolina Historical Review 

others, entered the house of one Moore, and without offering 
violence to any of the family, took therefrom for their immediate 
necessities about twenty dollars worth of bread and meat, and 
five dollars in Confederate money. His companions were captured, 
confined in the Rockingham County jail and indicted at the next 
session of the Superior Court, together with Johnson, for Bur- 
glary. The other two were tried ; acquitted of the burglary, con- 
victed of larceny and pardoned, on condition that they would join 
the rebel army, which they did. 

Johnson himself, with the indictment for burglary hanging 
over him, escaped through the Union lines ; entered the Federal 
service; was appointed 1 st Lieutenant in the 10 th . Tennessee 
Volunteers, and served faithfully with the Union forces, until 
the close of the war. He then returned to Rockingham county, 
was arrested on the old indictment of 1863, for Burglary, was 
refused bail, although those indicted for murder were allowed it, 
and confined to await his trial, subjected to every sort of indig- 
nity. He suceeded in having the place of trial changed to Caswell 
county, and at the Fall term of the court in 1866, was found 
guilty of Burglary, and sentenced to be hanged. 

From the Superior Court, his case was appealed to the Supreme 
court, in the spring of 1867, and his sentence was there confirmed. 

So soon as he was convicted, in the Superior court, he was 
thrust into jail, chained down in an iron cage, nine feet square 
by six feet high, without fire or sufficient clothing, or any means 
of warmth, during the winter season, in which condition he was 
forced to remain until about the 6 th day of May, 1867, when he 
was released upon an absolute pardon, granted by Gov Worth, 
under date of the 27 th , day of April, 1867. 

This inhuman treatment was under the direction of Jesse C. 
Griffith, Sheriff of Caswell county, assisted by Zacharius Hooper, 
Jailor, and was imposed solely because Johnson was a Union man 
and had served in the Union Army. 

Upon the trial in the Superior Court, the Judge, on a charge of 
Burglary, admitted the following evidence to wit :- that Johnson 
had acted as guide for Stoneman in his raid in North Carolina; 
that he had said he wished every damned secessionist was killed ; 
that he (Johnson) had done them all the harm he could & c. 

The Solicitor, Thomas Settle, who conducted the prosecution, 
was Johnson's former Confederate Captain and kept it prominent- 
ly before the court and jury that the prisoner had been a deserter, 
and traitor to the Confederate cause. One of the prosecuting 
attorney's, in his remarks to the jury, is reported to have said 
Johnson "was a deserter from the Confederate army, and ought 
to be hung anyhow." 

It is recommended that the said Griffith be tried by Military 
commission. It is not deemed advisable to join the Jailor of Cas- 
well county, in the charge, for the reason that, by the laws of 
North Carolina, the Sheriff is principally responsible for the 
treatment of prisoners as may be confined in a county jail, the 

Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson 261 

jailor acting under the Sheriff's direction, and by his orders. Be- 
sides, it is not thought advisable to join such trials together. 
A true copy 
Louis V Caziarc 
ADC Actctly 
Hdqrs 2nd Mily Dist 
Nov. 11. 1867 

Very Respectfully 
Your Obt. Servant 

Bvt. Col. Judge Advocate U. S. A. 

Judge Advocate 2nd Mil. Dist. 

copy From Jonathan Worth 

State of North Carolina 
Executive Department 
Raleigh Oct 10 th 1867. 
Major Gen Avery. 
Raleigh N. C. 

I enclose letter just received from Mr Phillpott and request that 
you avail yourself of the facts stated to aid in the examination 
of the witness Susan Lewis. 

I regret the decision of your Court, declining to allow the State 
to be represented on this trial on the ground that "it is contrary 
to all precedent and against the usage of the service/' 

I know nothing of precedent or the usage of the service in 
Military trials. I had supposed that so few instances had occurred 
of the nullification of the action of a Civil Court by order of a 
Military Commandant, on the ground of mal-conduct on the part 
of the Civil Court, that precedent or usage had scarcely been 
established, denying to the State the right to be heard in vindica- 
tion of her judicial tribunals. It seems I was mistaken but with 
all due respect I must be allowed to say that I can conceive of no 
just ground on which such precedent or usage rests. 

As the State is not allowed to be represented on a trial calling 
in question the action of one of her Courts, I desire to call your 
attention to the fact which I stated to you in conversation a few 
days ago, that Samuel A. Williams, 107 a pious man residing at 
Oxford, informed me in writing (which written statement I sent 
to Genl Sickles) that after the conviction of the prisoner, at 
Spring Term 1865, of Granville Superior Court, he visited the 
prison to pray with prisoner and prepare him for death- and 
that prisoner then, without any question by said Williams, of his 
own free will confessed, that he was guilty and ought to die, and 
desired said Williams to pray for him and prepare him for death- 
and that he (Williams) communicated to you the facts while you 
were investigating the facts of this case, to accertain whether 
justice required the withdrawal of this case from the Civil 
authorities of the State. 

107 See Governor Worth's letter to Dr. Samuel A. Williams, May 21, 1867. Hamilton, Cor- 
respondence of Jonathan Worth, II, 961. 

262 The North Carolina Historical Review 

If there be color of doubt as to the guilt of the prisoner, or the 
evidence now before your Court, I respectfully ask that this wit- 
ness be summoned and examined before your Court. 

I have the honor to be 
Yours Very Respectfully 
Governor of N. C. 

From G. N. Folk 108 

Lenoir N. C. 

Oct 12 th 1867 
Colonel Jno R. Edie USA 
Comdg Post 
Salisbury No Ca 

My duty as Counsel constrains me to call your attention to 
certain criminal prosecutions now pending in the Superior Court 
of Law for Caldwell County against William Mck. Blalock. Blalock 
was a soldier of the United States, and during the war, from his 
intimate acquaintance with the country, and his knowledge of the 
union men of this section, was detailed to secure recruits for that 
portion of the Federal Army operating in East Tenn. He was 
provided with recruiting papers, and made several trips between 
the lines of the two armies. While engaged in collecting recruits, 
and guiding them into the union Lines, he was frequently com- 
pelled to avail himself of the premission given him by his com- 
manding officer to provide himself and party with food, horses 
and forage from the country. For so doing, not less than twenty 
indictments, ranging from an indictment for forcible trespass to 
one for murder, have been found against him. I have defended 
him in many cases, and in no one of these has it ever been proved 
that he took a single thing maliciously, or for any other than the 
purposes indicated in his orders. 

I have no sympathy with Blalock other than arises from my 
professional connection with him, having served throughout the 
entire war in the armies of the Confederate States. I can be ac- 
tuated by no other desire than to do my duty to him as counsel, 
and to see that he has Justice. 

I am, Colonel, 

Very Respectfully 

Your Obt Servt 
Counsel for Blalock 
Headquarters 2 nd Mil District 
Charleston S. C. No 13, 1867. 
A true copy 
Louis V. Caziarc 
A. D. C. and A. A. A. G. 

From Edward R. S. Canby 

108 G. N. Folk was a member of the legislature in 1874 and was among those who favored 
the calling of a convention in North Carolina. Hamilton, Reconstruction, 605. 

Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson 263 

Head Quarters 2 nd Mility Dist 

Charleston S. C. Oct 19 th 1867. 
His Excellency 

Jonathan Worth, 
Governor of N. C. 
Raleigh N. C. 

I have the honor to transmit extracts from the report 
of the Judge Advocate of this District upon the case of Carney 
Spears, which formed the subject of your Communication of Aug 
14 th 1867. 

The real merits of this case are very much confused but it 
appears to have been the intention of Captain Denny to terminate 
a service on the part of Spears that was indeffinite in period and 
in consideration. With this understanding and to this extent his 
action has been approved and is limited. 

Very Respectfully Sir. 
Your Obt Servant 
Bvt. Maj. Genl Commanding 

"Extract from report of Judge Advocate 2 nd Military District 
dated Charleston, S. C. Oct. 10 th 1867, in the case of Carney 

"Continuing his statement Capt Denny says, that he found 
Spears by some arrangement, had been released from jail upon 
one Natt Atkinson becoming responsible to the Clerk of the 
Court for the cost of the suit, Spears to work with him until he 
had paid by labor the costs; but that no party know what the 
costs were at that time - not even the clerk of the Court and that 
no sum per month had been fixed as the compensation to be al- 
lowed to the blackman and that in fact there was no further 
understanding from that Atkinson became responsible for the 
costs, not knowing how much they amounted to, and the blackman 
was to work until he had re-imbursed Atkinson. Capt Denny then 
refers to General Orders No. 34. C. S. which provides that "Im- 
prisonment for default in payment of costs, fees or charges of 
Court shall not exceed "thirty days" and "insists that the ar- 
rangement between Spears and Atkinson was a trick to evade the 
requirements of that order; and consequently he suspended the 
further operation of this agreement until he could communicate 
all the facts in the case" 

Captain Denny continuing his report says, It will be borne in 
mind that I did not revoke the findings of the jury in this case. I 
suspended the operation of the virtual selling of Spears, because 
judgement had not been pressed against him and because nobody 
appeared to know what the costs were, or what compensation 
Atkinson was to allow him a month for services. 

Inasmuch as it appears from a thorough examination of the 
case, that the binding out of Spears to Atkinson was totally with- 
out legal authorization because of its indefiniteness as to the 
amount Spears was to pay by his labor and the time he was to 
work for Atkinson, it is thought that the action of Capt Denny 
should not only be interfered with but confirmed ; and that Spears 

264 The North Carolina Historical Review 

be released from his supposed obligation. This would seem the 
more proper course for the reason that Coleman in his statement 
asserts that the Court had nothing to do with the arrangement 
between Spears and Atkinson. In this view upon the facts before 
this Office there seems no need of any action touching the Civil 
and Judicial Officers whose names are connected with the case 
and none is desired." 
Head Quarters 2 nd Mil. Dist. 
Oct. 19 th 1867. 

Affidavit of Elisha J. Tweed 
State of North Carolina Madison County 

I E. J. Tweed Clerk of the County Court in and for said County 
do certify that D. E. Freeman Esq before whom the foregoing 
afidavits were made was at that time and still is an acting Justice 
of the Peace duly commissioned and sworn as the law directs and 
that the signature purporting to be his is his genuine Signature. 
In witness whereof I have hereto set my hand and affixed the 
seal of said Court at office in Marshall This the 19th day of Oc- 
tober 1867 

E. J. Tweed Clerk 
of the County Court. 

Affidavit of A. E. Deaver 

[October 19, 1867] 
State of North Carolina County of Madison 

On this the 19 th day of October 1867. Personally appeared be- 
fore me, a justice of the peace for the aforesaid County One A. E. 
Dever [sic] resident of the County of Madison, who being duly 
sworn, deposeth as follows :- I heard him remark at Ash [e] ville 
Buncombe County North Carolina in the Buck Hotel, to one Man 
Hensley-a resident of Marshall Madison County who was so- 
journing at Ash [e] ville at the time - in words as follows as near 
as I can recollect-I wish you to return to Marshall - I want four 
(4) Bushels of Liquor at the Election that is coming on, and I 
shall be present myself at this election, I shall not go off as I did 
before (This election illuded to the one for Union or Secession 
that was held on the 28 th of Feby 1861. the election that he 
wanted to have the 5 Bushels of Liquor at was to come off on, the 
13 th May 1861.) This man Ransom P Merrell has always bourn 
a bad character as an overbearing Desparado and has always 
been a violent Secessionist 

Sworn and subscribed before me D. E. Freeman J P 

Affidavit of Elihu H. Rector 

[October 19, 1867] 
State of North Carolina County of Madison 
On this 19 th day of October 1867. Personally appeared before me 
a Justice of the peace, one Elghu [sic] H. Rector a resident of 
Madison County State of North Carolina who being duly sworn 
deposeth as follows. 

I was at Marshall, on the morning of the election of the 13 th 

Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson 265 

of May 1861. I heard the said Merrell hurra for Jeff Davis and 
the Southern Confederacy, this was done on the main street 

Immediately after Hockley Morton a citizen in the aforesaid 
County of Madison came along for the purpose of voting, and 
whereupon interrogated by Ransom P Merrell as follows-What 
are you doing with your Gun? I do not remember what Norton 
replied; but Merrell presented his pistol and advanced upon 
Norton;- Norton gave way still followed by Merrell, pistol in 
hand- A crowd gathered around Merrell and Norton went off. 

Immediately, and as soon as Norton retired out of his reach ,- 
he turned around and presented his pistol at and in the direction 
of Nealy Tweed and Elisha J. Tweed his son, when Nealy Tweed 
saw the pistol presented towards him and his son, he dodged be- 
hind some other men,-Merrell took deleberate [sic] aim, and fired 
wounding (seriously) Elisha J. Tweed in the right arm & right 
side (Said Elisha J Tweed having just come from his farm for 
the purpose of voting) as soon as he shot Elisha J. Tweed he was 
taken to a House and locked up by some citizens in order to quell 
the mob and row. 

After being locked in the house he went to one of the windows, 
up stairs, fronting the street and raised it-He then presented 
himself at the window up stairs fronting the street and raised 
it-He then presented himself pistol in Hand, and he said "Come 
up here all you damn Black Republicans and take a shot about 
with me. 

I have known Ransom P Merrell for ten or twelve years, and 
although he was a Civil officer he was always apt or he did break 
the peace on several occasions. 
Sworn and subscribed before me D. E. Freeman J P 

Affidavit of William R. Roberts 

[October 19, 1867] 
State of North Carolina County of Madison- 

On thie 19th day of October 1867. Personally appeared before 
me a Justice of the Peace, for the aforesaid Madison County, one, 
William R. Roberts, a resident of Madison County, being duly 
sworn deposeth as follows-I heard Merrell say on the Morning 
of the Election before the poles were open that he (Merrell) 
entended to Rule the day and that if McDowell was not elected 
he (Merrell) entended to shed some man's blood. (McDowell was 
a Secession Candidate against Gudger Union Candidate) I furth- 
er saw Tweed shoot Merrell, and I also heard Merrell say after he 
was shot-Hurra for Jeff Davis & the Southern Confederacy- 

William R X Roberts 
Attest G [e] orge W Freeman 
Sworn and subscribed before me 

D. E. Freeman J P 

MAX Bradly [sicl 
[October 19, 1867] 
State of North Carolina County of Madison 

266 The North Carolina Historical Review 

On this 19 th day of October 1867. Personally appeared before 
me a Justice of the peace, for the county of Madison One Mrs. 
M. A Bradley a resident of Madison County, State of North Caro- 
lina, who being duly sworn deposeth as follows : 

Ransom P. Merrell Sheriff of Madison County came to my house 
on the morning of the 13 th of May 1861. the day of the Election at 
Marshall- and said as follows. I entend to Rule Madison County, 
at the election, and no Lincolnite or Black Republican or Tory 
shall vote Jack Gudger. (Said Gudger was the Union Candidate 
on that occasion and firmly opposed to Secession) I dont ask the 
Gudgers, Barnett's or Nochols, any odds for they are tories Said 
Merrell also told me, that he had a dream, which he said was as 
f ollows.-He dreamed that he had a large Rattle Sneak [sic] under 
his foot crushing it, and that he intended to use all Union men, in 
the manner, whenever he had an oppertunity [sic] 

MAX Bradly [sic] 
T L Saup 

Sworn to & subscribed to before thie the 19th day of October 1867 

D E Freeman J P 

Affidavit of William Randall 

[October 19, 1867] 
State of North Carolina County of Madison 

On this 19 th day of October 1867 Personally appeared before me 
one William Randell, [sic'] a resident of Madison County State 
of North Carolina who being duly Sworn deposeth as f ollows- 

I was at Marshall on the morning of the Election the 13 th of 
May 1861. I heard the said Merrell hurra for Jeff Davis and the 
Southern Confederacy, this was done on the main street, where- 
upon Elsey Frisby, a citizen of Marshall hurra-ed for Washington 
& the Union-for which Merrell drew his Postol [sic] on said 
Frisby,-Frisby Retired from the said Merrell, -Merrell still follow- 
ing him up pistol in hand. I got between Merrell & Frisby, and 
drew Merrells attention from Frisby (Frisby then went off) 

Immediately after Hackley Northon [sic] a citizen of Madison 
County came along for the purpose of voting, and whereupon 
interrogated by Merrell as follows- What are you doing here 
with your Gun?-I do not remember, what Norton replied; but 
Merrell presented his pistol and advanced upon Norton- Norton 
Gave way still followed by Merrell pistol in hand - A crowd 
gathered around Merrell & Norton went off. Immediately as soon 
as Norton retired out of his reach,-he turned around and pre- 
sented his pistol at and in the direction of Nealy Tweed and 
Elisha J. Tweed his son, when Nealy Tweed saw the pistol pre- 
sented towards him and his son, he dodged behind some other 
men. Merrell took deliverate [sic] aim and fired wounding (seri- 
ously Elisha J. Tweed in the right arm and right side (said Elisha 
J. Tweed having just came from his farm for the purpose of 

Letters from North Carolina to Andrew Johnson 267 

voting) as soon as he shot Tweed he was taken to a house and 
locked up by some Citizens in order to quell the row. 

After being locked in the House he went to one of the windows 
up stairs fronting the street and raised it-He then presented 
himself at the window pistol in hand, and he siad [sic] "Come up 
here all you Damn Black Republicans and take a shot about with 

I have known Ransom P. Merrell ten or twelve years, and al- 
though he was a Civil officer, he was always apt or did break the 
peace on several occasions 

William X Randall 
Witness G [e] orge W Freeman 
Sworn & subscribed before me, 

D E Freeman J P 

[October 19, 1867] 
Affidavit of Elisha J. Tweed 

State of North Carolina 
County of Madison 

I Elisha J. Tweed Clerk of the County Court of Madison County 
certify to the following statements 

That on the 13th day of May 1861 while an Ellection was being 
held in Marshall Madison County North Carolina that there was 
a greate deal of excitement about the Ellection as it was an El- 
lection for the secession of the State and that one Ransom P. 
Merrill the Sheriff of Madison County N C as I was passing to the 
polls- and had not spoke a word to Merrill that day and as I pass 
near him Merrill he presented his pistol and fired on me without 
any cause or provication the ball strikeing my right arm above 
the Elbow passing through and Entering the right side inflicting 
a severe wound sup[p]osed at that time to be a mortal wound 
whereupon my Father Neeley Tweed shot Merrill from which 
Merrill Died At the time Merrill shot me there was nothing be- 
tween me and Merrill but political mat [t] ers 

Merrill being a violent Rebel and was cursing and abuseing one 
E Frisby because he hollowed for George Washington and his 
Constitution he Merrill had his pistol drawn and after Frisby in 
the act of shooting Frisby but was prevented from so doing by 
some one near by Merrill was curseing and abusing the crowd in 
general as tories and Black republicans &C 

My father soon afterwards went and joined the Fed[e]ral army 
in Kentucky I soon afterwards went to the fed[e]ral army and 
joined the army me and my Father bellonged to the same com- 
pany to wit Co. D. 4 Tenn Inft afterwards changed to the 1 st 
Tenn Cavalry 

I heard my Father frequently speak of the mat [t] er of killing 
Merrill and he always said no one influenced him in any way in 
the matter but killed Merrill of his own accord and was willing 
and anxious for a fair trial by the civil laws of his country my 

268 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Father said to me that he had not saw one of the accused or spoke 
to him that day before the killing of Merrill viz M. W. Roberts 
my Father died while in the Federal army at Flat Lick Kentucky 

I was afterwards 2 nd Lieutenant Co. D. 1 st Tenn Cavalry and 
remained in the army until after the surrender having served 
three years and 5 months in the army 

I further state that I believe the prosecution against your 
Petitioners J. J. Gudger W. A. Henderson H. A. Barnard Thos. J. 
Rector W. R. McNew & M. W. Roberts to be malicious and I 
further state that owing to the union proclivities of your pe- 
titioners that they could not get justice in the state courts as they 
are now organized and that the purpose of the procecutors to be 
that of gain and that a fair and impartial investigation would 
relieve your petitioners from any further trouble & cost 

Clk of the County Court 
[To be continued] 

By Mary Lindsay Thornton 

Bibliography and Libraries 

EASTERBY, JAMES HAROLD. Guide to the study and reading 

of South Carolina history; a general classified bibliography. 

Columbia, The Historical Commission of South Carolina, 1950. 

(South Carolina bibliographies no. 2) 289 p. $2.00 pa. Includes 

some regional material. 
FRIEDERICH, WERNER PAUL. Bibliography of comparative 

literature, by Fernand Baldensperger and Werner P. Friederich. 

Chapel Hill, 1950. (University of North Carolina studies in 

comparative literature no. 1) xxiv, 701 p. $12.50. Order Richard 

Jente, Box 537. 

Philosophy and Religion 

BRANNON, CLARENCE HAM. An introduction to the Bible. 

[Raleigh (?), 1951] xi, 292 p. $4.75. 
HENDRICKS, GARLAND A. Biography of a country church. 

Nashville, Tenn., Broadman Press, [1950] xiv, 137 p. illus. 

NASH, ARNOLD SAMUEL, editor. Protestant thought in the 

twentieth century : whence and whither ? New York, The Mac- 

millan Company, 1951. xii, 296 p. $3.75. 
POTE AT, EDWIN McNEILL. God makes the difference ; studies 

in the faith of nature and the nature of faith. New York, 

Harper [1951] ix, 242 p. $3.00. 

Economics and Sociology 

SPECTION BOARD. Report of the state mental hospitals of 
North Carolina. [Raleigh?] 1950. 136 p. tabs. Apply State 
Hospital, Raleigh, N. C. 

CHEEK, ROMA SAWYER. A preliminary study of government 
management in North Carolina. Raleigh, Office of the Governor 
of North Carolina, 1950. 127 p. Apply. 

CHERRY, ROBERT GREGG. Public addresses and papers . . . 
1945-1949, edited by David Leroy Corbitt. Raleigh, Council of 
State, 1951. lxii, 1058 p. Apply State Department of Archives 
and History. 

CONNERY, ROBERT HOUGH. The navy and the industrial 
mobilization in World War II. Princeton, N. J., Princeton Uni- 
versity Press, 1951. xi, 527 p. $6.00. 

1 Books dealing with North Carolina or by North Carolinians published during the year 
ending August 31st, 1951. 


270 The North Carolina Historical Review 

EDMONDS, HELEN G. The Negro and fusion politics in North 
Carolina, 1894-1901. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina 
Press, [1951] viii, 260 p. illus. $5.00. 

ters, and papers . . . 1933-1937, edited by David Leroy Corbitt. 
Raleigh, Council of State, 1950. xxxi, 509 p. ports. Apply State 
Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, N. C. 

GRAY, GORDON. Report to the President on foreign economic 
policies. Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1950. 
vii, 131 p. 

HART, THOMAS ROY. The School of Textiles, N. C. State Col- 
lege ; its past and present. [Raleigh, North Carolina State Col- 
lege Print Shop, 1951] 230 p. illus. $5.00. 

HEARD, ALEXANDER. Southern primaries and elections, 1920- 
1949 [by] Alexander Heard and Donald S. Strong. University, 
Ala., University of Alabama Press, 1950, 206 p. $2.45. 

HOOVER, CALVIN BRYCE. Economic resources and policies of 
the South [by] Calvin B. Hoover [and] B. U. Ratchford. New 
York, Macmillan Company, [1951] xxvii, 464 p. $5.50. 

KNIGHT, EDGAR WALLACE, editor. Readings in American 
educational history, by Edgar W. Knight and Clifton L. Hall. 
New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, [1951] xxi, 799 p. $4.50. 

LEWIS, HENRY W. The General Assembly of North Carolina 
guidebook of organization and procedure. Chapel Hill, Institute 
of Government, University of North Carolina, 1951. 125 p. 

McALLISTER, QUENTIN OLIVER. Business executives and the 
Humanities. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 
1951. (Southern humanities conference Bulletin no. 3) 114 p. 
$1.50 pa. 

MURRAY, PAULI, editor. States' laws on race and color, and ap- 
pendices containing international documents, federal laws and 
regulations, local ordinances and charts. [Cincinnati, Woman's 
Division of Christian Service, Board of Missions and Church 
Extension, Methodist Church] 1950 [i.e. 1951] x, 746 p. $4.00. 

TION. University of North Carolina all-time results in all 
sports, celebrating 100 Southern Conference championships, 
1888-1950. [Chapel Hill, 1951] [48] p. illus. Apply. 

ODUM, HOWARD WASHINGTON. American sociology; the 
story of sociology in the United States through 1950. New York, 
Longmans, 1951. vi, 501 p. $5.00. 

STEPHENSON, GILBERT THOMAS. Your family and your es- 
tate. [New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1951] 64 p. $.88. 

The ports of Wilmington and Morehead City, North Carolina 
. . . Washington, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1951. ix, 
164 p. illus. Apply U. S. Engineers, Washington, D. C. 

WAGER, PAUL WOODFORD, editor. County government across 
the nation. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 
[1950] xiii, 817 p. illus. $7.50. 

WAGSTAFF, HENRY McGILBERT. Impressions of men and 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1950-1951 271 

movements at the University of North Carolina. Chapel Hill, 
University of North Carolina Press [1950] ix, 110 p. $2.00. 


LEAVITT, STURGES ELLENO. Sound Spanish [by] Sturgis E. 

Leavitt [and] Sterling A. Stoudemire. New York, Holt, [1950] 

vi, 119, xxviii p. $2.50. 
SHEWMAKE, EDWIN F. Working with words: Form A. New 

York, Harper, 1951. vi, 122 p. $1.00 pa. 


COKER, WILLIAMS CHAMBERS. The stipitate hydnums of the 
eastern United States, by William Chambers Coker and Alma 
Holland Beers. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 
1951. viii, 211 p. 60 plates. $5.00. 

CORRELL, DONOVAN STEWART. Native orchids of North 
America, north of Mexico . . . Waltham, Mass., Chronica 
Botanica [1951] (New series of plant science books, v. 26) 
400 p. illus. $7.50. 

LEE, WALLACE. Math miracles. [Durham, Seeman Printery, 
Inc., c. 1950] [8] 83 p. illus. $3.00. 

PEARSE, ARTHUR SPERRY. Emigration of animals from the 
sea. Washington, Sherwood Press, 1951. xii, 210 p. illus. $5.00. 

TAYLOR, HARDEN FRANKLIN and others. Survey of marine 
fisheries of North Carolina by Harden F. Taylor and a staff of 
associates. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, 
1951. xii, 555 p. illus. $10. 

TIPPETT, JAMES STERLING and others, editors. Understand- 
ing science, grades 1-4. Philadelphia, John C. Winston Com- 
pany, 1951- . Published with various titles, authors, and 

Applied Science and Useful Arts 

GREEN, PHILIP PALMER, JR. Stream pollution in North Caro- 
lina, by Philip P. Green, Jr., Donald B. Hayman, Ernest W. 

Machen, Jr. Chapel Hill, Institute of Government, University 

of North Carolina, 1951. 216 p. Apply. 
HOFFMANN, MARGARET JONES. Miss B's first cookbook; 20 

family-sized recipes for the youngest cook. Indianapolis, Bobbs- 

Merrill, [1950] [48] p. illus. $1.75. 

prospects buy. Cincinnati, Southwestern Publishing Company, 

1951. 483 p. illus. $4.25. 
KRAYBILL, EDWARD KREADY. Electric circuits for engineers. 

New York, Macmillan Company, 1951. x, 212 p. illus. $3.85. 
LANDON, CHARLES EDWARD. Transportation, principles, 

practices, problems. New York, William Sloane, 1951. xxii, 618 

p. maps. $4.75. 

272 The North Carolina Historical Review 

SEYMOUR, FRANCES ISABEL. Rice, dietary controls and 
blood pressure; with menus and recipes. New York, Froben 
Press, 1951. 206 p. $2.95. 

Fine Arts 

ORR, LEWIS. [Etchings : Album X] [Greenville, N. C, R. L. 

Humber, 1951] Continuation of a series of etchings of historic 

North Carolina buildings. Each album contains 5 etchings and 

sells for $50. 
SANDBURG, CARL. Carl Sandburg's new American songbag. 

New York, Associated Music Publishers, Inc., 1951. vii, 107 p. 

STRINGFIELD, LAMAR. Georgia Buck. Charlotte, N. C, Brodt 

Music Company, c. 1950. 9 p. 37 single sheets. $3.50. 
STRINGFIELD, LAMAR. Peace, a sacred cantata for mixed 

voices. Charlotte, N. C, Brodt Music Company, 1950. 36 p. 

STRINGFIELD, MARGARET. "Occoneechee" fair maid of the 

forest; a Cherokee operetta in three acts. Waynesville, N. C, 

Author, [1950?] [11] 60 p. $2.50. 


BARKER, ADDISON. The magpie's nest. Mill Valley, Calif., 

Wings Press, 1950. 56 p. $2.00. 
BROCKMAN, ZOE KINCAID. Heart on my sleeve. Atlanta, Ga., 

Banner Press, Emory University, [c. 1951] 73 p. $2.00. 
BURT, NATHANIEL. Question on a kite. New York, Charles 

Scribner's Sons, 1950. 43 p. $2.00. 
DAVIS, HANNAH (BARHAM). Heartleaves. Warrenton, N. C. 

The Author, [1951?] [10] 116 p. Order Author, Warrenton, 

N. C. 
EATON, CHARLES EDWARD. The shadow of the swimmer. 

New York, Fine Editions Press, 1951. 88 p. $3.00. 
HANES, FRANK BORDEN. Abel Anders, a narrative. New 

York, Farrar, Straus and Young, [1951] 209 p. $2.75. 
HARDEN, EARL LOUIS. Rhythmical treasure. Macon, Ga., 

J. W. Burke Company, [1950] xiii, 99 p. $1.75. 
JONES, GILMER ANDREW. Songs from the hills. [Franklin? 

N. C, Author, 1950] 57 p. 
KETCHUM, EVERETT PHOENIX. George Washington's vision 

and other poems ... by Everett Phoenix Ketchum and Lillian 

Floyd Ketchum. Asheville, N. C, Inland Press, [1950] 64 p. 

illus. $5.00. 
KING, MARIE HALBERT. Call to remembrance. [San Antonio, 

Texas, Carleton Printing Company for the Author] c. 1951. 

74 p. 
LOVELAND, CHARLES WELLING. The mountain men and 

other poems. [Shelby, N. C, Author, 1950] 68 p. $2.50. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1950-1951 273 

NORDEN, LAURA (HOWELL). On upward flight. New York, 
Exposition Press, [1951] 47 p. $1.50. 

PINGEL, MARTHA M. Catalyst; an interpretation of life. New 
York, Exposition Press, 1951. 64 p. $2.00. 

PRICE, MERLE. The heart has its daybreak. Emory University, 
Ga., Banner Press, [1950] 60 p. $2.00. 

SMEDES, HENRIETTA RHEA. In many moods, verses by Henri- 
»etta R. Smedes and John Esten Cooke Smedes. New York, Ex- 
position Press, [c. 1951] 96 p. port. $2.50. 

WALTON, MARY ETHEL. Words have breath, poems. Philadel- 
phia, Dorrance and Company, Inc., [1951] 127 p. $2.50. 


GREEN, PAUL ELIOT. The common glory song book, songs, 
hymns, dances and other music from Paul Green's symphonic 
drama . . . edited by Adeline McCall. New York, Carl Fischer, 
c. 1951. 47 p. 

GREEN, PAUL ELIOT. Peer Gynt, by Henrik Ibsen. American 
version by Paul Green. New York, Samuel French, Inc., [1951] 
167 p. $2.50. 

HUNTER, KERMIT. Unto these hills; a drama of the Cherokee. 
[Chapel Hill] University of North Carolina Press [1951] 100 
p. illus. $2.00. 

SPECK, FRANK GOULDSMITH. Cherokee dance and drama by 
Frank G. Speck and Leonard Bloom. Berkeley, Calif., Univer- 
sity of California Press, 1951. xv, 106 p. illus. $2.50 pa. 

Fiction 2 

BLYTHE, LE GETTE. A tear for Judas. Indianapolis, Bobbs- 

Merrill Company, Inc., [1951] 338 p. $3.50. 
DARBY, ADA CLAIRE. Island girl. Philadelphia, J. B. Lippin- 

cott Company, 1951. vii, 215 p. $2.75. 
DAVIS, BURKE. The ragged ones. New York, Rinehart and Com- 
pany, [1951] 336 p. illus. $3.50. 
HENRI, FLORETTE. Kings Mountain. Garden City, N. Y., 

Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1950. viii, 340 p. $3.00. 
IRWIN, LAETITIA. The golden hammock. Boston, Little, Brown 

and Company, 1951. 373 p. $3.00. 
MILLER, HELEN (TOPPING). The horns of Capricorn. New 

York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., [1950] 282 p. $3.00. 
OUTTERSON, LESLIE A. Unto the hills, a novel. New York, 

Vantage Press, [1950] 216 p. $3.00. 
ROGERS, LETTIE (HAMLETT). The storm cloud. New York, 

Random House, [1951] 309 p. $3.00. 
ROSS, FRED E. Jackson Mahaffey, a novel. Boston, Houghton 

Mifflin Company, [c. 1951] 308 p. 
SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Fort Everglades. Garden City, 

N. Y., Doubleday and Company, 1951. 340 p. $3.00. 

2 By a North Carolinian or with the scene laid in North Carolina. 

274 The North Carolina Historical Review 

SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. The road to Bithynia, a novel of 

Luke, the beloved physician. Garden City, N. Y., Doubleday and 

Company, 1951. 330 p. $3.50. 
STREET, JAMES HOWELL. The high calling. Garden City, 

N. Y., Doubleday and Company, 1951. 308 p. $3.00. 
TIPPETT, JAMES STERLING. Tools for Andy; pictures by Kay 

Draper. Nashville, Tenn., Abingdon-Cokesbury Press, 1951. 47 

p. $1.50. Juvenile. 

Literature Other Than Poetry, Drama, or Fiction 

BIERCK, HAROLD A., JR., editor. Selected writings of Simon 
Bolivar; compiled by Vicente Lecuna, edited by Harold A. 
Bierck, Jr., translation by Lewis Bertrand. New York, Colonial 
Press 1951. 2 v. 

BRINKLEY, ROBERTA FLORENCE, editor. English prose of 
the seventeenth century. New York, W. W. Norton and Com- 
pany, 1951. xii, 919 p. $4.00. 

CLARK, JOSEPH DEADRICK. Handbook of English, speaking 
reading, writing, by Joseph D. Clark, Philip H. Davis, and A. 
Bernard Shelley. Boston, Ginn and Company, 1951. viii, 487 p. 

COENEN, FREDERIC EDWARD. Franz Grillparzer's portraiture 
of men. Chapel Hill, [University of North Carolina] 1951. (Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Studies in the Germanic languages 
and literatures, no. 4) xii, 135 p. $2.50. 

LEARY, LEWIS GASTON. The literary career of Nathaniel 
Tucker, 1750-1807. Durham, N. C, Duke University Press, 
1951. (Historical papers of the Trinity College Historical So- 
ciety, ser. 29) ix, 108 p. $2.75. 

LOUTHAN, DONIPHAN. The poetry of John Donne; an expli- 
cation. New York, Bookman Associates, [c. 1951] 193 p. $3.50. 

NORTH CAROLINA UNIVERSITY. Studies in Mediaeval cul- 
ture dedicated to George Raleigh Coffman. [Chapel Hill, Uni- 
versity of North Carolina Press, 1951] (Studies in philology. 
July, 1951, v. 48, no. 3) 696 p. 

SHUTE, JOHN RAYMOND. The Seer, his parables and tales. 
Monroe, N. C, Nocalore Press, 1950. 94 p. illus. $1.00. 

ULLMAN, BERTHOLD L., editor. Colucci Salutati De Laboribus 
Herculis. Zurich, Switzerland, "Thesaurus Mundi" (publish- 
er) , 1951. Two volumes, paged continuously, XIV, 660 p. Vol. I, 
xiv, 1-352 p.; Vol. II, 353-660 p. American agent, Philip C. 
Duschnes, 66 East 56 St., New York. 

WALTON, LORING BAKER. Anatole France and the Greek 
world. Durham, N. C, Duke University Press, 1950. ix, 334 p. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1950-1951 275 


BROCKMANN, CHARLES RAVEN. Adams, Caruthers, Clancy, 
Neely, and Townsend descendants composing the Adams, Leg- 
erton, Wakefield, Brockmann, and other twentieth century 
families of the Carolinas. Charlotte, N. C, The Author, 1950. 
118 p. illus. $8.50. 

BROUGHTON, CARRIE L., compiler. Marriage and death notices 
in Raleigh register and North Carolina state gazette, 1856- 
1867. [Raleigh, The State Library, 1950] 537-613 p. A con- 
tinuation of earlier indices covering the years, 1799-1855. 

[BUIE, ROBERT BERNARD.] The Scotch family Buie. No place, 
privately printed, [1950] [80] p. illus. Apply Author, Box 1146, 
Stamford, Conn. 

HOLT, EUGENE. Edwin Michael Holt and his descendants, 1807- 
1948. [Richmond, Va., privately printed, 1949] xv, 221 p. illus. 
Apply Mrs. Ivor Massey, 2 Oak Lane, Richmond, Va. 

KELLAM, IDA (BROOKS). Brooks and kindred families. [Wil- 
mington? N. C] 1950. 384 p. illus. Order from Author, 219 S. 
3rd St., Wilmington, N. C. $7.50. 

LORE, ADELAIDE McKINNON. The Morrison family of the 
Rocky River settlement of North Carolina; history and gene- 
alogy, by Adelaide and Eugenia Lore and Robert Hall Morrison. 
[Charlotte? N. C, 1950] 543 p. illus. $10. 

McBEE, MAY WILSON, compiler. Anson County, North Caro- 
lina, abstracts of early records. [Greenwood, Miss., The Com- 
piler, c. 1950] vii, 180 p. $11. 

McLEAN, HARRY HERNDON. The Wilson family, Somerset 
and Barter Hill branch. Washington, N. C, The Author, [c. 
1950] 102 p. illus. Order from the Author, Box 716, Washing- 
ton, N. C. $5.00. 

RAY, WORTH STICKLEY. Tennessee cousins; a history of Ten- 
nessee people. Austin, Tex. [1950] viii, 811 p. illus. $20. 

LINA SOCIETY. Lineage book of past and present members. 
[Raleigh] The Society, 1951. vi, 322 p. $5.00. Order W. A. 
Parker, 1522 Jarvis St., Raleigh, N. C. 

WYATT, WILBUR CARL. Families of Joseph and Isaac Wyatt, 
brothers, who were sons of Zachariah ("Sacker") and Elizabeth 
(Ripley) Wyatt, of Durant's Neck, Perquimans County, North 
Carolina . . . Washington, c. 1950. 206 p. illus. Apply Compiler, 
5716 16th St., N. W., Washington 11, D. C. 

History and Travel 

BAILEY, BERNADINE (FREEMAN). Picture book of North 
Carolina. Pictures by Kurt Wiese. Chicago, Albert Whitman 
and Company, c. 1950. [28] p. illus. $1.00. Juvenile. 

BAITY, ELIZABETH (CHESLEY). Americans before Colum- 
bus; illustrated with drawings and maps by C. B. Falls and 
32 p. of photos. New York, Viking Press, 1951. 256 p. illus. 
$4.00. Juvenile. 

276 The North Carolina Historical Review 

DULA, WILLIAM C, editor. Durham and her people, combining 
history and who's who in Durham of 1949 and 1950 . . . Dur- 
ham, N. C, Citizens Press, 1951. 295 [7] p. illus. $5.00. 

GRIFFIN, CLARENCE. Essays on North Carolina history. 
Forest City, N. C, Forest City Courier, 1951. xv, 284 p. illus. 

HAMLIN, TALBOT FAULKNER. We took to cruising; from 
Maine to Florida afloat [by] Talbot and Jessica Hamlin. New 
York, Sheridan House, [1951] 320 p. illus. $3.50. 

LAZENBY, MARY ELINOR. Catawba frontier, 1775-1781 ; mem- 
ories of pensioners. Washington, 1950. ix, 109 p. $2.00. 

OATES, JOHN A. The story of Fayetteville and the upper Cape 
Fear. [Fayetteville, The Author, c. 1950] xxxi, 868 p. illus. 

PATTON, SADIE SMATHERS. Sketches of Polk County history. 
[Hendersonville, N. C. The Author, c. 1950] xiv, 161 p. illus. 

WOLFE, THOMAS. A western journal ; a daily log of the great 
parks trip, June 20-July 2, 1938. [Pittsburgh] University of 
Pittsburgh Press, 1951. x, 72 p. illus. $2.00. 

Autobiography and Biography 

ADAMS, AGATHA BOYD. Paul Green of Chapel 'Hill. Chapel 
Hill, University of North Carolina Library, 1951. vii, 116 p. 
port. $1.00 pa., $2.50 bound. 

BAKER, NINA (BROWN). Sir Walter Raleigh. New York, Har- 
court, Brace and Company, [1950] 191 p. $2.50. Juvenile. 

BECKER, KATE HARBES. Paul Hamilton Hayne: Life and let- 
ters. Belmont, N. C, Outline Company, 1951. xi, 145 p. $3.50. 

BRINK, WELLINGTON. Big Hugh, the father of soil conserva- 
tion ; with a preface by Louis Bromfield. New York, Macmillan 
Company, 1951. xii, 167 p. port. $2.75. 

BROOKS, AUBREY LEE. A southern lawyer, fifty years at the 
bar. Chapel Hill, University of North Carolina Press, [1950] 
viii, 214 p. $3.50. 

of Alamance. Burlington, N. C, 1951. 69 p. illus. Apply The 

DANIELS, JONATHAN*. The man of Independence. 3 Philadel- 
phia, J. B. Lippincott Company, [1950] 384 p. $3.75. 

DE GRUMMOND, JANE LUCAS. Envoy to Caracas; the story 
of John G. A. Williamson, nineteenth-century diplomat. Baton 
Rouge, Louisiana State University Press, [1951] xx, 228 p. 
illus. $3.75. 

GIBSON, JOHN MENDINGHALL. Physician to the world; the 
life of General William C. Gorgas. Durham, N. C, Duke Uni- 
versity Press, 1950. ix, 315 p. illus. $4.50. 

8 Winner of Mayflower award, 1951. 

North Carolina Bibliography, 1950-1951 277 

HOCUTT, HILLIARD MANLY. Struggling upward; a brief story 

of the upward struggle of Rev. and Mrs. J. D. Hocutt and their 

fourteen children of Burgaw, North Carolina, with special 

emphasis upon the record of the family in Christian education. 

[Asheville, N. C, The Author, 1951] 76 p. illus. Apply Author, 

112 Belmont Ave., Asheville, N. C. pa. 
MANGUM, WILLIE PERSON. Papers, edited by Henry Thomas 

Shanks. Raleigh, N. C, State Department of Archives and 

History, 1950- . v. 1, illus. Apply. 
PASCHAL, JOEL FRANCIS. Mr. Justice Sutherland, a man 

against the state. Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1951. 

xii, 267 p. port. $4.00. 
POUND, MERRITT BLOODWORTH. Benjamin Hawkins, Indian 

agent. Athens, Ga., University of Georgia Press, [c. 1951] ix, 

270 p. $4.00. 
REYNOLDS, QUENTIN JAMES. The Wright brothers, pioneers 

of American aviation ; illustrated by Jacob Landau. New York, 

Random House, [1950] 183 p. illus. $1.50. Juvenile. 

moores ... as told to Cameron Shipp. New York, Appleton- 

Century-Crofts, Inc., 1951. 296 p. $3.50. 
SLAUGHTER, FRANK GILL. Immortal Magyar: Semmelweis, 

conqueror of childbed fever. New York, Henry Schuman, 1950. 

(Life of scientists library, no. 15) 211 p. illus. $3.50. 
TIPPETT, JAMES STERLING. Abraham Lincoln, humble and 

great. Chicago, Beckley-Cardy Company, 1951. (Forever great 

series) 154 p. $1.48. Juvenile. 
TREASE, GEOFFREY. Sir Walter Raleigh, captain & adventurer. 

New York, Vanguard Press [1950] 248 p. $2.50. Juvenile. 
WRIGHT, WILBUR. Miracle at Kitty Hawk; the letters of Wil- 
bur and Orville Wright, edited by Fred C. Kelly. New York, 

Farrar, Straus and Young [1951] ix, 482 p. illus. $6.00. 

New Edition and Reprints 

CELL, JOHN WESLEY. Analytic geometry. 2nd ed. New York, 

John Wiley, 1951. xii, 326 p. $3.75. 
COULTER, ELLIS MERTON. College life in the old South. 2nd 

ed. Athens, Ga., University of Georgia Press, 1951. xiii, 320 p. 

illus. $4.50. 
FLETCHER, INGLIS. Roanoke Hundred. London, Hutchinson 

and Company, 1951. 284 p. 6 s. 
FLETCHER, INGLIS. The young commissioner, a tale of the 

African bush. London, Hutchinson and Company, 1951. 264 

p. 6 s. 
KNIGHT, EDGAR WALLACE. Education in the United States. 

3rd rev. ed. Boston, Ginn and Company, 1951. xvi, 753, xiv p. 

illus. $4.50. 
WALDMAN, MILTON. Sir Walter Raleigh. Toronto, Canada, 

William Collins Sons and Company, 1950. $2.00. 


The Negro and Fusion Politics in North Carolina, 1894-1901. By Helen G. 
Edmonds. (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. 1951. 
Pp. viii, 260. $5.00.) 

To the growing shelf of studies on southern politics Dr. Ed- 
monds who is professor of history at North Carolina College at 
Durham has added a scholarly and interesting book on a highly 
controversial period in the history of this state. After explaining 
some of the difficulties encountered in studying the Fusion years, 
the author proceeds to compare the Democratic and Republican 
parties as they faced each other between 1876 and 1896. A con- 
servatively controlled Democratic party continuously dominated 
the state government, but, as such leaders as Vance and Ransom 
dropped out, new "liberal agrarian anti-monopoly" spokesmen 
such as Josephus Daniels, Walter Clark, and L. L. Polk began to 
contest the Bourbon leadership. Confronting the Democrats was 
a strong Republican party, which received between forty and 
forty-nine per cent of the vote in forty-seven counties and regu- 
larly carried twenty-six counties, ten in the west (where the 
party remains strong) and the rest in the north central and 
eastern portions of the state, where the Negro population was 
high. Such was the situation in 1890. By 1901, the turmoil of 
the intervening decade had resulted in the reduction of Republi- 
can strength, largely because of the almost total exclusion of the 
Negro from politics, and in the consequent inauguration of a 
period of Democratic rule that has already lasted half a century. 
Dr. Edmonds's book clarifies the circumstances that produced 
this striking result. 

By 1890 the plight of the farmers in North Carolina, as else- 
where in the nation, produced strong farm organizations, notably 
the Farmers' Alliance, brought such new leaders into the field 
as L. L. Polk and Marion Butler, and, in the end, led to the estab- 
lishment of the Populist party. The showing made by the new 
party in 1892 indicated that if it were to join hands with the Re- 
publicans, the Democratic party could be overcome. Such was, in 
essence, the course followed successfully by the two minorities in 

1894 and 1896 with the result that the General Assemblies of 

1895 and 1897 were controlled by Fusion majorities, while a 
Republican, Daniel L. Russell, occupied the Executive Mansion 
from 1897 to 1901. 

[ 278 ] 

Book Reviews 279 

Fusion of Populists and Republicans was possible largely be- 
cause the economic and political reforms desired by the two 
groups were harmonious. Dr. Edmonds devotes some attention 
to the efforts to achieve these reforms, giving an entire chapter 
to the Fusion election laws of 1895 and 1897, but she is concerned 
primarily with the position of the Negro in the Fusion movement 
and with the bitter and ultimately successful fight greatly to 
reduce his share in state and local government. Populists, most of 
whom were dissatisfied Democrats, in cooperating with Republi- 
cans found themselves working with a party whose majority was 
reputably Negro and may have been so in fact. The Fusion vic- 
tories of 1894 and 1896 necessarily increased Negro participation 
in politics, and the author devotes three very interesting chapters 
to Negro officeholders. She treats with understanding and in de- 
tail many such officials as George H. White (congressman) , John 
C. Dancy (collector of customs at Wilmington) , James H. Young, 
William H. Crews, Isaac Smith, J. H. Wright (four state legisla- 
tors), Dr. James E. Shepard (subsequently president of North 
Carolina College), and Thomas S. Eaton (register of deeds in 
Vance County). Although Negro politicians revealed a high de- 
gree of race consciousness, the author shows that many of them 
possessed above average qualifications and that they generally 
conducted themselves properly. 

The political spurt that Fusion gave the Negro proved the 
combination's weakest spot, for many Populists were opposed to 
Negro participation in government and were therefore ready 
to give credence to the cry of "Negro domination." From the 
Frederick Douglass resolution and the Abe Middleton affair of 
the 1895 General Assembly through the "white supremacy" 
campaign of 1898 and the ultimate Democratic recapture of the 
entire state government in the election of 1900, the race question 
steadily became more prominent in the tactics of the Democratic 
party, and Dr. Edmonds's account of the campaign against the 
Negro shows how potent the race issue was in the politics of 
the period. The Wilmington race riot of November, 1898, is de- 
scribed with objectivity and fullness of detail. Much food for 
thought will be found in the chapters on the Democratic legis- 
lature of 1899, which proposed disfranchising changes in the 
state constitution, and on the campaign of 1900, which saw 
Fusion ended and disfranchisement achieved. 

280 The North Carolina Historical Review 

It was no easy task to secure the adoption of the suffrage 
amendment in 1900. As the campaign progressed, resistance be- 
came strong in the western counties where the illiteracy rate was 
high and Negroes were few. It became increasingly apparent that 
not even the "grandfather clause" would save large numbers of 
whites from disfranchisement. It was at this juncture that 
Charles B. Aycock, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, cam- 
paigning in the western counties, began to put main emphasis 
on his plan to devote the forthcoming administration to the aboli- 
tion of illiteracy in North Carolina. Aycock and the amendment 
both won, and, as Hugh T. Lefler has said, "a new day dawned 
for [public] education" in North Carolina. 

Dr. Edmonds's extensive bibliography includes a list of per- 
sonal interviews and her index is adequate. The maps and charts, 
which are integrated with the text, and the statistical data and 
documentary material, which make up the appendix, add greatly 
to the book. Taken all in all, The Negro and Fusion Politics should 
prove a valuable reference tool for scholars and rewarding read- 
ing for any person interested in the history and politics of North 
Carolina and the South. 

Preston W. Edsall. 

North Carolina State College, 

The Negro and the Communist Party. By Wilson Record. (Chapel Hill: The 
University of North Carolina Press. 1951. Pp. x, 340. $3.50.) 

In this book, Texas-born Wilson Record 1 provides a careful, 
detailed, and straight-forward account of the unsuccessful efforts 
of the Communist party to gain the support of the American 
Negro and utilize him in building up power here and in other 
parts of the world. To those who know the nature and techniques 
of Communism but lack familiarity with the country's principal 
race problem and to those who are familiar with Negro protest 
without having a corresponding acquaintance with Communism, 
Record's account offers a way to more rounded understanding. 
For those who are unfamiliar with both Communism and the 
Negro protest, the book goes far toward providing a working 

1 Educated at Texas Wesleyan and the Universities of North Carolina and Texas, Mr. Record 
has had experience in the labor movement and with the Federal government. He received a 
Rosenwald grant in 1947 and now teaches sociology at San Francisco State College. 

Book Reviews 281 

knowledge of both and of their many organizations and leaders. 
While the volume lacks a bibliography, it is thoroughly docu- 
mented and has a moderately adequate index. 

Mr. Record begins by putting the Negro question into historical 
perspective and contemporary context. It is interesting that both 
the Socialist party and the Communist party with its Kremlin- 
dominated leadership have failed to capture extensive Negro 
support, though for fundamentally different reasons. Whereas 
Socialists persisted in offering Negroes only what they tendered 
wage-earners generally ("We have nothing special to offer the 
Negro," Debs declared), Communists saw America's Negroes 
as a large down-trodden minority of potentially political value 
and international usefulness, and therefore offered much in 
domestic programs, organization work, and leadership oppor- 
tunity, but did so without really comprehending the Negro's 
immediate concerns or ultimate goals. Consistency, moreover, 
has not characterized the general conduct of the American Com- 
munist party and was strikingly absent from its dealings with 
the Negro. This lack of consistency has arisen in main from the 
fact that the party has been obliged to conform to a frequently 
changing, Moscow-dictated "party line" laid down by a series 
of international congresses. Mr. Record devotes six information- 
packed chapters to tracing the tortuous course of the "party 
line," showing how it affected all aspects of the party's effort 
to win Negro support and control Negro action. Space does not 
permit an adequate summary of the complicated but clearly pre- 
sented story these chapters tell; their titles must suffice: "The 
Early Pattern of Red and Black, 1919-1928"; "The Kremlin 
Sociologists and the Black Republic, 1928-1935"; "Build the 
Negro People's United Front, 1935-1939"; "This Is Not the 
Negro's War, 1939-1941"; "All Out for the War of National 
Liberation, 1941-1945"; "American Negroes! Stop Wall Street 
Imperialism, 1945-1950." Finally, in a concluding chapter, "Red 
and Black: Unblending Colors," the author offers a very wise 
analysis and a body of conclusions that add value to the book. 

Mr. Record does not allow the failure of the Communist party 
to gain general Negro support to obscure certain positive results 
of Communist action. Such protest organizations as the National 
Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Na- 

282 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tional Urban League, while successful in escaping Communist 
domination, have nevertheless been forced to "initiate changes 
in their policies and programs" in order to maintain their leader- 
ship in the Negro protest movement. A number of prominent 
Negro leaders, writers, and intellectuals have been attracted to 
the Communist cause, and the Party has had its impact on the 
Negro press, on the trade union movement, and, indeed, on our 
major political parties, particularly where civil rights issues are 
at stake. 

Why have three decades of Communist effort failed to make 
more than a handful of Negro converts? (Record estimates the 
maximum number at 8,000.) The answer is that the party has 
blundered in various ways, particularly in analyzing the Negro's 
aspirations. He does not want a sovietized America ; he does not 
want either an independent national existence or separate state- 
hood in the American union; he does not care for "the Party's 
umbilical attachment to the Kremlin." He wants equality of op- 
portunity in democratic America. "Negroes in the United States," 
Record declares, "have had plenty of provocation to revolt. But 
they have chosen to protest within the constitutional framework. 
. . . And because the aspirations of the American Negro are es- 
sentially egalitarian, a 'bourgeois' document like the American 
Constitution has a liberating potential in the Black Belt of Ala- 
bama and in the ghetto of Harlem that the Communist Manifesto 
could never hope to have." We make a serious mistake, Record 
argues, in identifying "organized discontent with an alien ideol- 
ogy" ; instead we should realize that "America has a great weapon 
against Communism among racial and ethnic minorities." This 
weapon is the Constitution, and "we would do well to apply its 
equalitarian potentials." 

Preston W. Edsall. 

North Carolina State College, 

Durham and Her People. By W. C. Dula and A. C. Simpson. (Durham: The 
Citizens Press. 1951. Pp. 297. $4.95.) 

As explained in the preface, this book is not an orthodox his- 
tory. It is rather a personalized history, written primarily to 

Book Reviews 283 

preserve the story of Durham and her people, with special at- 
tention to present-day facts and details that would never be re- 
corded in an orthodox history. 

There are twenty-four headings in the table of contents, but 
the volume has only two general divisions. First, there are brief 
sketches of many phases of the business and social life of Dur- 
ham, including origin, story of tobacco and the tobacco industry, 
public utilities, insurance companies, churches, schools, and 
others. The second division, roughly four-fifths of the pages, is a 
who's who of about 550 individuals and business establishments 
in Durham at the present time. 

The authors have written a book especially useful and valuable 
to business-men who are seeking new areas in which they might 
expand their field of operation. Although lacking in critical 
evaluations and weak in general organization of materials, it 
records facts upon facts which clearly prove the City of Durham 
to be a most remarkable success story that is both inspirational 
and informative. Durham is symbolic of the New South. 

If there is a central theme in the book, it is growth. Whether 
the town itself, the large and small corporations, the schools 
and churches, or the great tobacco industry, they have all 
started humbly and grown magnificently. "The Golden Weed," 
the authors point out, is the foundation of Durham's wealth. 

The volume is attractively printed and has an adequate index. 

D. J. Whitener. 

Appalachian State Teachers College, 

Survey of Marine Fisheries of North Carolina. By Harden F. Taylor and a 
Staff of Associates. (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. 
1951. Pp. xii, 555. $10.00.) 

Survey of Marine Fisheries of North Carolina is the first criti- 
cal analysis of local fisheries which has been carried out and 
published by a state government. 

The subject is introduced by a description of the North Caro- 
lina marine waters by Dr. Nelson Marshall. The complex nature 
of the waters is explained, with information on currents, tem- 
peratures, salinities, and nutrients supplemented by charts and 
graphs. He suggests that greater yields might be obtained by 

284 The North Carolina Historical Review 

utilizing animals low in the food chain. Part II covers a discussion 
of the marine commercial species. 

The section on menhaden by William A. Ellison, Jr., which is 
the next topic covered, is based on limited reports, many pub- 
lished before 1910. Mr. Ellison discusses migrations but concedes 
that extensive tagging experiments must be undertaken. Most 
of his presentation, however, is written as though migration 
routes had been worked out carefully. 

Mr. Roelofs does a creditable job of condensing information on 
edible finfishes. He stresses the need for research and feels that 
with present facts it is impossible to tell whether a given species 
is being fully utilized. 

The oyster and other mollusks are covered adequately by A. F. 
Chestnut. He shows that mollusk culture can be profitable and 
suggests that oyster production can be increased almost im- 
mediately. The section on shrimp by Carter Broad discloses a 
complex pattern of species intermingled in the catch. His section 
is enlightening, since it clarifies popularly held misconceptions 
that shrimp are being depleted. John Pearson concludes that the 
blue crab has not been fully utilized in North Carolina but points 
out that competitive production costs with the Chesapeake in- 
dustry may make expansion of the fishery unsound. 

According to Dr. R. E. Coker, there is promise in the breeding 
and rearing of diamond-back terrapins in privately managed ter- 
rapin pens, dependent on a high selling price. He feels this could 
serve as a basis for future development of the industry. He finds 
insufficient information on wild stock to draw any valid con- 

The last two sections of Part II cover the seaweeds by Dr. 
Harold H. Humm and marine angling by Francesca LaMonte. Dr. 
Humm describes the new industry which has developed along the 
Carolina Coast utilizing seaweeds to produce agar. Mr. LaMonte 
surveys sports fishing in coastal waters. This chapter, while 
interesting, seems somewhat out of place, preceded by rather 
technical discussions of seaweeds and agar, and followed by a 
lengthy economic study of commercial species. It might better 
have been published as a separate bulletin. 

Almost half of the book is devoted to Part III, entitled "Eco- 
nomics of the Fisheries of North Carolina," by Dr. Harden F. 

Book Reviews 285 

Taylor. This heading is misleading, since Dr. Taylor's economic 
studies have led him to analyze the fisheries far beyond the con- 
fines of North Carolina. 

His introduction explains the economic conditions and standard 
of living of the coastal region of North Carolina, and he con- 
cludes that ". . . the main impediment to what we call progress 
is that the human qualities of creative enterprise and desire and 
ambition for more and better things have not had adequate stimu- 

The book deals with the fisheries in a general and qualitative 
way. Dr. Taylor points out that the productivity of the sea is un- 
tapped, as compared to land, and that proteins and fats so es- 
sential for human welfare can be produced at far lower cost at 
the marine production point than at the production point of land 

The author states that it is "impossible to exterminate a 
species or a fishery for profit, since the profit disappears before 
the fish is exterminated." 

Marketing, distribution, and consumption of fish in the United 
States are covered with explanatory statistical tables, graphs, and 
charts. A section on manufacturing follows, covering methods of 
processing which include canning, freezing, and filleting. By- 
products are also discussed. 

The next major heading is a quantitative consideration of 
world fisheries and those of the United States. Dr. Taylor has 
standardized statistical procedures and has re-worked statistical 
data compiled by the Federal government from 1887 to 1940. 

His findings show that "the fisheries of this country as a whole 
have been able to afford and continue to afford a production in- 
creasing in pace with the growth of the population." Dr. Taylor 
concludes that "production of food fisheries follows an economic 
rather than biological trend." "No evidence is seen that abun- 
dance or scarcity of any kind, or of all kinds, of fish had any 
effect on the total quantity or value of the product of the food 

Little advance has been made in any fishery in North Carolina 
except in the menhaden. Dr. Taylor feels that none will be made 
unless the thinking is clarified and possibly re-oriented, "or the 
emphasis shifted in a direction which will afford to the fisheries 

286 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the same kind of encouragement to efficiency as is given to agri- 
culture ; unnecessary restraints should be removed and assurance 
given that the use of any improved techniques that may be de- 
veloped will not be forbidden without scientific justification." 

This composite volume is a most valuable contribution to the 
undertaking of our fisheries. While many may disagree with the 
conclusions reached by Dr. Taylor, none can question the thor- 
oughness of the study or the fresh thinking brought to bear on 
the handling of our marine resources. This book should serve as 
a guide for future research on North Carolina fishes. 

David H. Wallace. 
Annapolis, Maryland. 

The Southern Humanities Conference and Its Constituent Societies. By J. 0. 
Bailey and Sturgis E. Leavitt. (Chapel Hill: The University of North 
Carolina Press. 1951. Pp. 68. $1.00.) 

This booklet represents an effort of the Southern Humanities 
Conference to give publicity to the history of the conference and 
its constitutent societies, with a view toward encouraging re- 
search in the field. It opens with a history of the organization. 
According to this historical sketch, the Southern Conference 
originated in the American Council of Learned Societies, working 
largely through two of its leading members — Waldo G. Leland 
and Sturgis E. Leavitt. They and other leaders planned the 
formation of a committee in the South. Mr. Leland, director of 
the American Council of Learned Societies, seems to have been 
chiefly responsible for creating an All-Southern Committee. 

Correspondence was carried on in 1944 with potential con- 
stituent organizations and editors suggesting a Humanities Con- 
ference in the South in 1945. Though many favorable replies 
were returned, war conditions led the American Council to delay 

After the close of the war, Mr. Leavitt resumed action and in 
1947 again communicated with southern leaders regarding a 
possible conference to form a "Regional Committee on the Hu- 
manities" to promote the cause. Responses were so favorable 
that, with the active support of the American Council, repre- 
sentatives of southern societies held meetings at the University 
of North Carolina and Duke University, as a result of which a 

Book Reviews 287 

permanent organization was formed to be called the "Southern 
Humanities Conference" and ten organizations were invited to 
become members. The representative of the American Council 
stated that the organization hoped, through the Southern Hu- 
manities Conference, to "make effective impact upon the life 
of the South" (p. 7). He urged that support from southern 
foundations be sought for the program. 

Activities were reported for making a survey of the humani- 
ties in the South, for preparing an index of southern societies in 
the fields of the humanities, and for making a survey of re- 
sources for advanced study in the South. 

The next meeting, in Chapel Hill in April, 1948, heard reports 
on research in progress in the South. Data showed about 1,000 
research-scholars active on about 1,500 research-projects ranging 
from encyclopedias to analyses of current events. Work was re- 
ported on a Guide to Manuscript Resources. The group also dis- 
cussed three important problems: ways to attract the best men 
to teach in the humanistic fields, of retaining the best teachers in 
the South, and of encouraging creative scholarship. 

It was decided later by the Executive Committee that the 
Stroup Survey on Research in Progress should be published as 
Bulletin No. I of the Southern Humanities Conference, the first 
of a series to be published by the University of North Carolina 

Annual sessions were held at Chapel Hill and the University of 
Virginia in 1949 and 1950. Such subjects as Societies in the South 
Interested in the Humanities, the Relationship of Library Re- 
sources to Graduate Work, Encouragement of Research by South- 
ern Institutions, Collections of Manuscripts, and non-academic 
"Friends of the Humanities" in the South were discussed. Col- 
leges and universities were invited to become institutional as- 
sociate members. The conference for 1951 was planned to con- 
vene at Washington and Lee University. 

Following the history of the organization are sections on Meet- 
ings and Officers, Histories of the Constituent Societies, Asso- 
ciate Members of the Southern Humanities Conference, and the 
constitution consisting of eight articles. 

The first two bulletins of this scholarly organization reveal 
genuine achievement in vitalizing the humanities in the South. 

288 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The first bulletin contains eighty-six pages of titles only of work 
in progress in the humanities in a single year, and research in 
sociology and economics is not even listed. Had the research of 
men like Howard W. Odum, Rupert Vance, and Calvin Hoover 
been included, the record would have been even more impressive. 
It is an inspiring record — clear evidence of an intellectual 
awakening. It proves false H. L. Mencken's jibe of a genera- 
tion ago to the effect that the South is ignorant and contented. 
The history of the Southern Humanities Conference and its con- 
stituent organizations as recorded in this second bulletin is still 
more inspiring information on the intellectual South. Every in- 
stitution of learning that is interested in cultural progress of the 
South should add this series of bulletins to its collection. More 
power (and financial support) to Mr. Leavitt and his productive 

M. L. Skaggs. 

Greensboro College, 
Greensboro, N. C. 

Bourbon Democracy in Alabama. By Allen Johnston Going. (University, 
Alabama: The University of Alabama Press. 1951. Pp. ix, 256. $4.00.) 

The purpose of this study is to fill the gap in the history of 
Alabama between the Reconstruction era, so well described by 
Walter L. Fleming, and the Populist period, which has been treat- 
ed by John B. Clark. In Alabama this period extended from 1874 
to 1890 and was characterized, politically, by the dominance of 
the Democratic party in the affairs of the state. This party was 
labeled "Bourbon" by its Radical enemies in order to stamp their 
Democratic opponents as anti-progressive and ultra-conservative. 
However accurate or inaccurate the label might have been, the 
phrase still supplies us, by common usage, with a name for an 
era in southern history. 

It is this era in Alabama which Mr. Going proposes to analyze 
and describe, but his conception of his task is a narrower one 
than that held by Fleming or Clark. The study is confined to an 
analysis and description of the state government of Alabama ; it 
is written largely from a spectator's seat in the state legislature ; 
there is in it almost nothing of the social, economic and industrial 
development of the state in this period. Because the author set 
out to do no more than describe the history of the Democratic 

Book Reviews 289 

party his work inevitably has about it the flavor of incomplete- 
ness. Though the task he proposed to perform has been done, the 
larger history of Alabama for this period remains to be treated. 

Though the term "Bourbon" is shown to be inaccurate if ap- 
plied to all factions of the party, yet the general pattern of 
Democratic government in Alabama is revealed to conform to 
the general characteristics of Bourbonism over the Southland. 
Divided by the war quarrels, the party was united by the issues 
of race and economy and came to victory in 1874. Hardly chal- 
lenged by other political parties thereafter, its victory was con- 
solidated by the constitution of 1875, and political domination 
was subsequently maintained largely by control of the election 
machinery. What were the attitudes and policies of this party 
toward the pressing questions of the time ? 

The answers are given in Mr. Going's book and are found to 
conform, for the most part, to the emerging pattern of the 
Bourbon South. The state debt was partially repudiated, expendi- 
tures and taxation were reduced, and economy in government 
became a potent slogan. As a result of economy social services 
were reduced or eliminated, public education was neglected, and 
there was no state action to alleviate the grievances of the 
farmer. Toward business and industry the Democratic party 
adopted a dual role in which industry was both impeded and en- 
couraged. This same duality prevailed in regard to railroads, for 
though the Constitution of 1875 prohibited direct state aid to 
internal improvements the railroad commission which was estab- 
lished in 1881 was never so strict or powerful as in some other 
states. Also within the general southern pattern of the times 
were the attitudes of the party toward the penal system, where 
reform was hardly an object, and toward the Negro, who was 
certainly effectively controlled, though not disfranchised. The 
total picture is one of a government which was honest and eco- 
nomical but which was also weak and inefficient. 

But if the author paints this general picture he also makes it 
clear that there was continual disagreement and opposition 
within the party on matters of policy. Many pressures from sec- 
tional and economic groups prevented the full realization of an 
agrarian, conservative program. Important modifications of Bour- 
bon attitudes were forced on such questions as debt repudiation, 

290 The North Carolina Historical Review 

encouragement to immigration and industry, and the party shib- 
boleth of a strictly economical government. But poverty and the 
prevailing philosophy of laissez-faire prevented any serious al- 
terations in the Bourbon program before 1890. 

The principal sources employed in this study are official docu- 
ments and newspapers, though some manuscript collections have 
been found useful. The research has been thorough and the 
organization of the material is clear and logical. The style is 
undistinguished, even pedestrian, but the subject matter treated 
doubtless supplies extenuating circumstances. A useful appendix 
furnishes needed summaries of elections and eighteen maps en- 
able the reader to visualize the sectional and party divisions 
within the state throughout the period. An excellent bibliography 
and an adequate index complete a sound and useful account of 
Bourbon democracy in Alabama. 

Frontis W. Johnston. 

Davidson College, 

The Territorial Papers of The United States. Compiled and edited by 
Clarence Edwin Carter. Volume XV. The Territory of Louisiana-Missouri, 
1815-1821. (Washington: United States Government Printing Office. 1951. 
Pp. 834. $5.00.) 

This is the last of a series of three volumes dealing with the 

Territory of Louisiana-Missouri, 1803-1821, a project commenced 
by the Department of State and later transferred by an executive 

order to the National Archives and Records Service. Volume XV 
includes a period of six years, 1815-1821, and is divided into four 
sections. Section one deals with the first administration of Gov- 
ernor William Clark, 1815-1816, which is a continuation from 
Volume XIV, The Territory of Louisiana-Missouri, 1806-1814. 
Section two deals with the second administration of Governor 
William Clark, 1816-1820, while section three deals with his third 
administration. The last section deals with the period of transi- 
tion, 1820-1821, that is, the changing of the status of Missouri 
from that of a territory to statehood. 

This is a volume of documents collected from many sources, 
arranged in chronological order. The source from which each 
document has been taken is given in headnotes, most of which 
may be found in various collections of the National Archives. The 

Book Reviews 291 

volume opens with a document relating to mail routes and closes 
with a letter from Governor Alexander McNair to John Q. Adams, 
secretary of state, acknowledging the receipt of a letter, declaring 
the "admission of the State of Missouri as a member of the Union 
to be complete." The numerous footnotes add much to the useful- 
ness of the volume, as they help clarify many of the documents 
included and give reference to other valuable material. 

There are in the book approximately six hundred and seventy- 
five documents, and other valuable enclosures such as letters 
and petitions relating to problems growing out of pioneer con- 
ditions. Among the pressing problems confronting the three ad- 
ministrations of Governor William Clark none seem to be of 
greater concern to the people of the Missouri Territory than the 
land problem. Many of the documents deal with land surveys, 
land claims and the sale of the public domain. Such problems 
were of great concern to the officials in charge of the Missouri 
territory and the residents of the region. 

The first three sections of the book include much material re- 
lating to problems concerning the Indian. This problem along 
with the issues growing out of the public domain gave a great 
concern to those entrusted with the administration of the terri- 
tory. These documents reveal the growing importance of Indian 
affairs in the Missouri Territory during the last few years pre- 
ceding statehood. 

The fourth section contains many political documents relating 
to Missouri's move for statehood. This part of the book is in- 
teresting reading, for it gives an excellent picture of the social 
and economic conditions as well as the political activities im- 
mediately preceding Missouri's admission to the Union. 

This volume should be quite useful to the research scholars, 
especially those interested in the issues growing out of the dis- 
posal of the public domain, and in problems relating to Indian 

Walter H. Ryle. 

Northeast Missouri State Teachers College, 
Kirksville, Mo. 

The People's General: The Personal Story of Lafayette. By David Loth. 
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons. 1951. Pp. viii, 346. $3.50.) 

292 The North Carolina Historical Review 

In The People's General David Loth gives the intimate story 
of an ambitious young man motivated by feelings of emotional 
insecurity with which nearly all of us can sympathize. Beginning 
with his early childhood, the reader is shown the family back- 
ground, the education, and the youthful associations — even the 
accidental occurrences — which shaped the character of Marie 
Joseph Paul Yves Koch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette. 
The contrast is sharply drawn between his boyhood home in the 
Auvergne and the Noailles Palace in Paris where according to 
his marriage contract he was compelled to live, when he was not 
with his regiment, among his court-loving in-laws. Then follows 
an account of the difficulties Lafayette encountered in leaving 
for America, the satisfying father-son type of relationship with 
Washington, and his adventures as an officer in the American 
Revolution. The difficult political and military role he played 
before, during, and after the French Revolution occupies the third 
part of the book, and his return to the United States and his 
retirement and old age conclude the work. 

Although it is apparent that Loth has a great affection for 
his hero, he gives a frank, objective analysis of Lafayette's 
motives, even allowing for Lafayette's lapses of memory in rela- 
tion thereto, and never indulges in hero worship. His background 
as a newspaperman qualifies the author as a raconteur — his story 
is a succession of interesting events — but does not incline him 
toward documentation. Sources are listed in the appendix and in 
the author's acknowledgments, but no footnote references are 
given. Letters are quoted in the text, some with dates and places 
and some without these aids. One wonders how David Loth knows 
what feelings Lafayette experienced as he stood outside the Tuil- 
leries soon after his return from America. There are awkward 
skips in the narrative for which no explanation is given. Al- 
though the book is relatively free from typographical faults, 
there are some factual discrepancies. For example, an eighty-day 
voyage was started on April 20, 1777 (page 67), and ended June 
13, 1777 (page 72). A woman who is "a couple of years" older 
than the hero on page 26 has become three years older by page 45. 

The book is printed in large, readable type and has an adequate 
index. There is one illustration, a portrait frontispiece, and an 
unusually attractive dust jacket. Mr. Loth is to be commended 

Book Reviews 293 

for presenting history in its most readable form, if not its most 


May Davis Hill. 

State Department of Archives and History, 

Records of the Accounting Department of the Office of Price Administration. 
Compiled by Meyer H. Fishbein and Elaine C. Bennett. Preliminary In- 
ventories of the National Archives, No. 32. (Washington, 1951. Pp. vii, 
108. Processed.) 

Records of the Bureau of Ordnance. Compiled by William F. Shonkwiler. 
Preliminary Inventories of the National Archives, No. 33. (Washington, 
1951. Pp. v, 33. Processed.) 

Records of the Solid Fuels Administration for War. Compiled by Edward F. 
Martin. Preliminary Inventories of the National Archives, No. 34. (Wash- 
ington, 1951. Pp. v, 39. Processed.) 

These preliminary inventories are the latest in a series begun 
by the National Archives in 1941 with the ultimate aim of de- 
scribing in detail the material in the 260-odd record groups to 
which its holdings are allocated. Although designed primarily for 
staff use — as finding aids in rendering reference service and as 
a means of establishing administrative control over the records — 
they should prove equally useful to the researcher interested in 
the record group inventoried. 

In addition to describing the records themselves by series, 
each inventory contains a statement of the history and functions 
of the agency. In the case of the two World War II agencies, these 
valuable guides to their administrative complexities are supple- 
mented by brief administrative histories of their several offices 
or divisions. Where related records exist, the introductory state- 
ments indicate the record groups in which they are to be found 
in the National Archives or the agency that has retained them for 
current use. 

The records of the accounting department of the Office of 
Price Administration, 1940-1947, pertain to the administration 
and enforcement of the price, rent, and rationing programs. 
Those of the Solid Fuels Administration for War, 1941-1947, deal 
with the control of coal and packaged and processed fuels. In- 
ventoried with the latter are the closely related records of the 
Coal Mines Administration, 1943-1945, and the Coal Mines Ad- 
ministration-Navy, 1946-1948, which operated the mines during 

294 The North Carolina Historical Review 

the four periods when they were seized by the Federal govern- 

The inventory of the Bureau of Ordnance, Department of the 
Navy, describes the records that had been transferred to the 
National Archives by June, 1951. They include many items re- 
lating to the invention, manufacture, and testing of ordnance 
equipment and incomplete records of various ordnance boards. 
There is also a collection of maps, photographs, and drawings, 

Dorothy Dodd. 

Florida State Library, 


A committee has been set up to conduct a campaign to estab- 
lish at Kitty Hawk a museum relating to the Wright brothers 
of Dayton, Ohio, who made the first airplane flight, December 17, 
1903. Members are Mr. David Stick of Kitty Hawk, chairman; 
Mr. Ronald F. Lee, assistant director of the National Park 
Service, Washington; Mr. Paul Garber, curator of the National 
Air Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington; Mr. 
Harold S. Miller of Dayton, executor of the Wright estate ; Mr. 
Harold S. Manning, head of the Southeastern Airport Managers' 
Association, Augusta, Georgia; Dr. Christopher Crittenden of 
Raleigh; and Mr. Victor S. Meekins of Manteo. The committee 
met with officials of the National Park Service and others in 
Washington, February 15, and made plans for the campaign. 

The Tryon Palace Commission has signed a contract with the 
Boston firm of architects, Perry, Shaw and Hepburn, Kehoe and 
Dean, which was in charge of the restoration of colonial Wil- 
liamsburg, for the reconstruction of the Tryon Palace, colonial 
and first state capitol of North Carolina, in New Bern. For this 
purpose the late Mrs. J. E. Latham of Greensboro donated ap- 
proximately $1,500,000, and the state appropriated funds for 
the purchase of at least a part of the necessary land. 

The Department of Archives and History has arranged for the 
Genealogical Society of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day 
Saints to make microfilm copies of the older records in Camden, 
Hyde, Jones, Montgomery, Moore, Person, Richmond, and Wilkes 
counties. Many records of the other North Carolina counties 
have previously been filmed by the society. In each case the 
master negative is retained by the society and a positive print 
is sent to the Department of Archives and History. 

The State Records Microfilm Project, coordinated under the 
Department of Archives and History, has been in operation 
since August, 1951. Projects are now being conducted in the 
Board of Education, the Personnel Department, and the office 
of the State Treasurer. 


296 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The older records of the A. S. Cox Manufacturing Company, 
Winterville, have been accessioned by the State Department of 
Archives and History. The company, founded in 1875, made 
cotton planters that were distributed as far west as Texas. 

The State Department of Archives and History, through the 
courtesy of Mrs. Elizabeth H. Cotten of Chapel Hill, has acquired 
the Virginia Dare desk, a gift of Mrs. George Ross Pou of 
Raleigh. The desk was made by North Carolinians out of white 
holly from Roanoke Island as the contribution of the women of 
the state to the women's building at the Chicago World's Fair in 
1893. The carved panels represent scenes and symbols connected 
with Virginia Dare, including the legendary white doe, scupper- 
nong vines, and the coat of arms of Sir Walter Raleigh. The desk 
has since been preserved by the State Library, the Raleigh 
Woman's Club, and the late George Ross Pou, State Auditor. 
Mrs. Cotten has given the Department a gavel which accompanied 
the desk when it was originally presented. 

The Southern Appalachian Historical Association has chosen 
the name "Daniel Boone Theater" for the outdoor theater which 
is to be built at Boone for its production, "Horn in the West," by 
Kermit Hunter. The play is scheduled to open June 27 and its 
theme is the change effected by the mountains of North Carolina 
on a dyed-in-the-wool royalist in the period between 1776 and 

The Department of Archives and History has a limited number 
of copies of the History of the 113th Field Artillery, 30th Divi- 
sion, published by the History Committee of the 113th Field 
Artillery, Raleigh, in 1920. The book consists of 262 pages and is 
illustrated with photographs, maps, and other material. Any 
library may obtain a copy of this volume by sending twenty-five 
cents for wrapping and mailing to the Division of Publications, 
Department of Archives and History, Box 1881, Raleigh. 

At North Carolina State College, Dr. Stuart Noblin has been 
promoted to the rank of associate professor, and Dr. Charles F. 
Kolb and Dr. Marvin L. Brown, Jr., have been promoted to the 
rank of assistant professor. 

Historical News 297 

Dr. Preston W. Edsall, head of the department of history and 
political science at North Carolina State College, attended the 
annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in 
Chattanooga, Tennessee, on November 8, 9, and 10 and served 
as a discussion leader in the panel of "The Rule of Law Today." 

Dr. William B. Todd, professor of English at Salem College, 
has published "Bibliography and the Editorial Problem in the 
Eighteenth Century/' Studies in Bibliography, IV (1951) , 41-55 ; 
the following articles in Papers of the Bibliographical Society of 
America, XLV (1951) : "Press Figures and Book Reviews as 
Determinants of Priority: A Study of Home's Douglas (1757) 
and Cumberland's The Brothers (1770)," 72-76; "Another At- 
tribution to Swift," 82-83; "Two Issues of Crabbe's Works' 
(1823)," 250-251; "Twin Titles in Scott's Woodstock (1826)," 
256; and "A Hidden Edition of Whitehead's Variety (1776)," 
357-358; and two articles in The Library, 5th ser., VI (1951) : 
"The Bibliographical History of Burke's Reflections on the Revo- 
lution in France," 100-108, and "The First Printing of Hume's 
Life (1777)," 123-125. 

Miss Sarah McCulloh Lemmon has recently published the 
following article: "The Ideology of the Dixiecrat Movement," 
Social Forces, December, 1951. Miss Lemmon is assistant pro- 
fessor of history at Meredith College. 

Dr. Elisha P. Douglass, now professor of history at Elon Col- 
lege, has been appointed assistant professor of American history 
at the University of North Carolina, beginning September 1, 
1952. Professor Douglass received his A. B. from Princeton, 
his M. S. in journalism from Columbia, and his Ph. D. from Yale 
in 1949. He is a member of the Advisory Committee on Historical 

Dr. Wallace E. Caldwell, chairman of the department of his- 
tory at the University of North Carolina, has just published 
(with W. C. McDermott) Readings in Ancient History (Rine- 
hart) , a collection of source readings. 

Dr. Loren C. MacKinney delivered the inaugural lecture of 
the "J. C. Trent Society of the History of Medicine" at the Duke 
University Medical School, February 19, 1952. 

298 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Dr. Harold A. Bierck, Jr., of the University of North Carolina 
has been elected secretary-treasurer of the Conference on Latin 
American History of the American Historical Association. 

The fiftieth anniversary of The South Atlantic Quarterly, the 
nation's second oldest literary-general quarterly, was celebrated 
by the publication on March 21 of Fifty Years of the South 
Atlantic Quarterly, edited by William B. Hamilton, and a special 
January anniversary issue of the Quarterly, which was founded 
in 1902 by John Spencer Bassett, history professor at Trinity 
College, forerunner of Duke University. Dr. William T. Laprade, 
chairman of the Duke history department, is the present editor 
of the Quarterly. 

Mr. John E. Tyler of Roxobel has been named district vice- 
president for the Albemarle District of the North Carolina So- 
ciety of County and Local Historians. The Albemarle District 
consists of the counties of Bertie, Beaufort, Camden, Chowan, 
Currituck, Dare, Edgecombe, Gates, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, 
Martin, Nash, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Pitt, 
Tyrrell, Washington, and Wilson. 

Mrs. Seth L. Smith of Whiteville has been named vice- 
president for the Cape Fear District, which includes the counties 
of Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, 
Duplin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, New Hanover, Onslow, Pamlico, 
Pender, Robeson, Sampson, and Wayne. 

Mr. John E. Monger of Sanford is vice-president for the Cen- 
tral, which includes the counties of Alamance, Caswell, Chat- 
ham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, 
Johnston, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Orange, Person, Randolph, 
Richmond, Rockingham, Scotland, Vance, Wake, and Warren. 

Dr. J. E. Hodges of Maiden has been elected divisional vice- 
president, in charge of activities in the Piedmont District. This 
district is composed of the counties of Alexander, Alleghany, 
Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba, Cleveland, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, 
Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, Stokes, 
Surry, Union, Wilkes, and Yadkin. 

Mr. Clarence W. Griffin of Forest City is vice-president for the 
Western District, which includes the counties of Ashe, Avery, 
Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, 

Historical News 299 

Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, 
Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, and Yancey. 

A large number of North Carolinians attended the annual 
meeting of the American Historical Association in New York, 
December 28-30. Taking part in the program were Miss Frances 
Acomb, Dr. Paul H. Clyde, Dr. Ray C. Petry, Dr. Charles S. 
Sydnor, and Dr. Richard L. Watson, Jr., all of Duke University, 
and Dr. Fletcher M. Green of the University of North Carolina. 

Mr. Martin Kellogg, Jr., of Manteo was named chairman of 
the Roanoke Island Historical Association at a meeting of the 
Board of Directors held in Raleigh January 4. Other officers 
elected were as follows : Mr. Russell M. Grumman of Chapel Hill, 
vice-chairman ; Mr. I. P. Davis of Winston-Salem, secretary ; and 
Mr. C. S. Meekins of Manteo, treasurer. Mr. Chester Davis of 
Winston-Salem and Mr. Grumman were presented as new mem- 
bers of the board. 

On January 11 Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the Department of Archives 
and History spoke before the Bloomsbury Chapter of the Daugh- 
ters of the American Revolution. His subject was Richard Cas- 
well. On January 17 he addressed the Junior League of Raleigh 
on "The Background of Raleigh." 

On January 16 Mrs. Joye E. Jordan of the Department of 
Archives and History attended the preview of the Brush-Everard 
house in Williamsburg, Virginia; on January 23 she attended 
the opening of the Southern Furniture Exhibition at the Virginia 
Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond; and on February 5 she 
spoke on "Quilt Patterns as Modern Art" at a luncheon meeting 
of the Junior Woman's Club of Raleigh. 

On January 16 Dr. Christopher Crittenden addressed the 
Sesame Club of Faison on "Museum Opportunities for All Citi- 
zens" ; on February 14 he spoke at the chapel exercises of St. 
Augustine's College, Raleigh, on "John Chavis, Free Negro 
Teacher and Preacher of the Early Nineteenth Century" ; and on 
February 15 he attended a meeting of the Executive Board of the 
National Council for Historic Sites and Buildings in Washington. 
He has been reappointed chairman of the Society of American 
Archivists' Committee on Long-Range Planning. 

300 The North Carolina Historical Review 

The Warren County Historical Society was organized in War- 
renton on January 14. After a talk by Mr. D. L. Corbitt of the 
Department of Archives and History, who had been invited to 
help organize the group, the following officers were elected : Mr. 
Arthur Nicholson, president; Dr. Lena Hawks, vice-president; 
and Mrs. Arthur Williams, secretary and treasurer. Mr. Charles 
M. Heck of Raleigh and Dr. D. T. Smithwick of Louisburg also 
attended the meeting. 

At an organizational meeting of the Pitt County Historical 
Society on February 14, the following officers were elected: 
Judge Dink James of Greenville, president ; Mrs. J. Paul Daven- 
port of Pactolus, Mr. C. V. Cannon of Ayden, Mr. Walter Latham 
of Bethel, and Mrs. C. A. Lawrence of Falkland, vice-presidents ; 
Mrs. Tabitha Visconti of Farmville, secretary; and Mrs. Bessie 
W. Scott of Greenville, curator. Mr. D. L. Corbitt and Mr. J. L. 
Jackson of Raleigh, natives of Pitt County, assisted in the organi- 

The Sir Walter Raleigh Day Commission met in Raleigh on 
February 21 to make plans for the celebration later in the year 
of the four hundredth anniversary of Sir Walter's birth. The 
following committees were named: Executive Committee: Mr. 
Robert Lee Humber, Dr. Christopher Crittenden, Mrs. W. T. 
Bost, Mr. H. A. Scott, and Mr. A. T. Spaulding; Committee to 
Cooperate with Superintendent Erwin on Raleigh Day in the 
Schools: Mr. A. B. Gibson, Mr. Joe Nixon, Mrs. E. B. Hunter, 
and Mr. A. T. Spaulding; Committee on Dramatic Productions: 
Mr. Paul Green, Mrs. E. B. Hunter, and Dr. J. Y. Joyner ; Com- 
mittee to Confer with London Commission on Raleigh Quadri- 
centennial: Mr. Robert Lee Humber, Mr. Paul Green, and Dr. 
Christopher Crittenden; Committee on Stamp for Raleigh 
Quadricentennial : Mr. William T. Polk, Mrs. Elizabeth D. Rey- 
nolds, and Mrs. W. T. Bost. 

The expanded program of the State Literary and Historical 
Association, announced at its annual meeting last December, is 
getting under way. The following chairmen of committees have 
been appointed by President Frontis W. Johnston of Davidson : 
Awards, Professor Richard Walser, Raleigh; Local Historical 
Societies, Mr. D. L. Corbitt, Raleigh; Meetings and Programs, 
Dr. D. J. Whitener, Boone; Membership, Mr. Russell M. Grum- 

Historical News 301 

man, Chapel Hill; To Publicize North Carolina History, Mr. 
Clarence W. Griffin, Forest City. A full list of committee mem- 
bers will be published later. On February 22 the association's 
Executive Committee met in Raleigh with the chairmen of the 
other committees and certain other interested members to hear 
reports of progress and to make plans for the future. The pro- 
gram is meeting with enthusiastic response throughout the state. 

The Ashe County Historical Society was formed at Jefferson 
on February 22. Mr. A. L. Fletcher of Jefferson and Raleigh 
was named temporary chairman and Mrs. Ed M. Anderson of 
West Jefferson was named secretary of a seven-member board 
in charge of organization. Permanent officers have not yet been 


Miss Fannie Memory Farmer is administrative assistant in the 
State Board of Public Welfare in Raleigh. 

Dr. John Chalmers Vinson is an assistant professor of history 
at the University of Georgia, Athens. 

Dr. Charles Grier Sellers, Jr., is an assistant professor of his- 
tory at the University, Princeton, New Jersey. 

Mr. James M. Merrill is a doctoral candidate in American his- 
tory at the University of California, Los Angeles. 

Dr. Ernest M. Lander, Jr., is an associate professor of history 
and government at Clemson College, Clemson, South Carolina. 

Dr. Christopher Crittenden is director of the State Department 
of Archives and History, Raleigh, and secretary of the State 
Literary and Historical Association, Raleigh. 

Mr. E. Lawrence Lee, Jr., is a doctoral candidate specializing 
in colonial American history at the University of North Caro- 
lina. At the present time he holds the William Richardson Davie 
memorial scholarship in history for North Carolina, which is 
awarded by the North Carolina Society of the Cincinnati. 

Dr. Frontis W. Johnston is head of the department of history 
at Davidson College, Davidson. 

Dr. Elizabeth Gregory McPherson is a reference consultant of 
the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, Washington. 

Miss Mary Lindsay Thornton is librarian, North Carolina Col- 
lection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill. 


JANUARY, 1952 


A Book Pedlar's Progress in North Carolina James s. Purceii 
Henry McCulloh : Progenitor of the Stamp Act . James High 
Some Aspects of Society in Rural South 

CAROLINA IN 1850 Joseph Davis Applewhite 

The Freedmen's Bureau and Negro 
Education in Virginia wuiiam t, Aiderson, Jr. 

Unpublished Letters of 
Calvin Henderson Wiley Mary Galium Wiley 

Letters from North Carolina to 

ANDREW JOHNSON Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 

Book Reviews 
Historical News 



> • > » 

North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Issued Quarterly 

Volume XXIX 

Number 3 

JULY, 1952 

Published by 


Corner of Edenton and Salisbury streets 
Raleigh, N. C. 

» > 

> - - , 

> » > > 



i * 

.... ... o e c , , • • • 

r ,.'<<( . CO* t ... . » • 

< ..,<.< I . ( i I < < ' ( < ' cc 

c t . . ( < ( ( t » . c < < c , ' 

' ' ' ' " : ' l ' Published by the State Department of Archives and History 

Raleigh, N, C. 

Christopher Crittenden, Editor 
David Leroy Corbitt, Managing Editor 

Walter Clinton Jackson Hugh Talmage Lepler 

Frontis Withers Johnston Douglas LeTell Rights 

George Myers Stephens 


Benjamin Franklin Brown, Chairman 

Gertrude Sprague Carraway McDaniel Lewis 

Clarence W. Griffin Mrs. Sadie Smathers Patton 

William Thomas Laprade Mrs. Callie Pridgen Williams 

Christopher Crittenden, Director 

This review was established in January, 192b, as a medium of publication 
and discussion of history in North Carolina. It is issued to other institutions 
by exchange, but to the general public by subscription only. The regular 
price is $2.00 per year. To members of the State Literary and Historical 
Association there is a special price of $1.00 per year. Back numbers may be 
procured at the regular price of $2.00 per volume, or $.50 per number. 

The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX Number 3 



Da\id B. Quinn 


C. Robert Haywood 



Donald J. Rulfs 



Wilfred B. Yearns, Jr. 



Elaine von Oesen 


Elizabeth Gregory McPherson 


Oates'S The Story of Fayetteville and the Upper Cape 
Fear — By Paul Murray; Walser's Inglis Fletcher of 
Bandon Plantation — By Chalmers G. Davidson; 
Baker's Mrs. G. I. Joe — By Percival Perry; Lewis's 
Northampton Parishes — By William S. Powell ; Hol- 
lis'S University of South Carolina. Volume I. South 
Carolina College — By J. Isaac Copeland; Williams's 
St. Michael's, Charleston, 1751-1951 — By Lawrence F. 
Brewster; Easterby's The Journal of the Commons 
House of Assembly, September 12, 1739-March 26, 17 Ul 
(The Colonial Records of South Carolina) — By Hugh T. 

Entered as second-class matter September 29, 1928, at the Post Office at 
Raleigh, North Carolina, under the act of March 3, 1879. 


Lefler; Milling's Colonial South Carolina: Two Con- 
temporary Descriptions — By C. E. Cauthen; Wal- 
lace's History of Wofford College, 1851^-19^9 — By 
Frontis W. Johnston; Schlegel's Conscripted City: 
Norfolk in World War II — By Horace W. Raper; 
Lawrence's Storm over Savannah: The Story of 
Count d'Estaing and the Siege of the Town in 1779 
— By J. D. Applewhite; Woodward's Origins of 
the New South, 1877-1913 — By JEFFERSON DAVIS 
Bragg; Murdoch's The Georgia-Florida Frontier, 1793- 
1796 — By Cecil Johnson; Freeman's George Wash- 
ington: A Biography — By Leonidas Dodson; Mon- 
tross'S Rag, Tag and Bobtail: The Story of the 
Continental Army, 1775-1783 — By Hugh F. Rankin; 
McNair's Simon Cameron's Adventure in Iron, 1837- 
181>6 — By James W. Patton; Shott's The Railroad 
Monopoly: An Instrument of Banker Control of the 
American Economy — By C. K. Brown ; Thornbrough's 
A Friendly Mission: John Candler's Letters from 
America, 185 3-1 85 U — By Tinsley L. Spraggins; Mc- 
Allister's Business Executives and the Humanities — 
By Tinsley L. Spraggins; Paschal's Mr. Justice 
Sutherland: A Man Against the State — By Preston W. 



The North Carolina 
Historical Review 

Volume XXIX JULY, 1952 Number 3 

By David B. Quinn 

Captain Christopher Newport holds an honorable place in 
early Anglo-American history as the commander of the expedi- 
tion which left England in December, 1606, for the foundation 
of Jamestown and on account of his subsequent maritime activi- 
ties in support of the struggling colony. It is now known that it 
was only chance and misfortune which prevented him, sixteen 
years before the Jamestown expedition, from taking part in the 
search for the "Lost Colony" of Roanoke Island, for in 1590 
he was in command of one of the vessels which was to call at 
Raleigh's Virginia for this purpose. 

For John White's last voyage the main authority has hitherto 
been his own journal which Hakluyt first published in 1600, 1 
but the very date of it has been misinterpreted, "in 1590" having 
been frequently taken, by the present writer amongst others, 2 
to mean 1591 since the journal begins on March 20, which was 
within the English official year March 25, 1590-March 24, 
1591. Hakluyt in this case and some others was following the 
continental usage of beginning the year on January 1, and there 
is no doubt at all that 1590 is meant. There has now become avail- 
able a substantial amount of new material on this 1590 voyage, 
mainly referring to its West Indian phase. On the one hand, Miss 
Irene A. Wright has found at Seville valuable evidence which 
has just been published by the Hakluyt Society, 3 showing the 
Spanish reactions to the activities of the English vessels. On the 
other hand, there have emerged from the records of the High 
Court of Admiralty in the Public Record Office, London, a num- 

1 Richard Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, III (1600), 288-295, or VIII (Glasgow, 1904), 
404-422 (to which subsequent references are given). Prefacing the journal is a letter from 
White to Hakluyt of February 4, 1593, or 1594. 

2 E.g., in Raleigh and the British Empire (New York, 1949), 122-125. 

3 Irene A. Wright, ed., Further English Voyages to Spanish America, 1583-1594, (London, 
The Hakluyt Society, 2nd ser., XCIX, 1951), 244-260, documents nos. 68-75. 

[ 305 ] 

306 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ber of documents which throw a substantial amount of new light 
on the voyage from the English side and, incidentally, reveal 
Christopher Newport's part in it. 4 

It is not proposed to give here a full account of the voyage as 
a whole but rather to discuss those episodes in which Newport 
took part; however, a certain amount of general description of 
the circumstances surrounding his activities is essential. It will 
be remembered that John White, having left the third colony on 
Roanoke Island in 1587, was unsuccessful in his attempt to re- 
turn with supplies and reinforcements in 1588. He, himself, 
explains that it was not until the beginning of 1590 that he seized 
another opportunity of getting back to Raleigh's Virginia. Hear- 
ing that three privateers, owned by the London merchant John 
Watts and his partners, were held up in the Thames by an em- 
bargo on shipping, he says that he went to Sir Walter Raleigh 
with the proposal that they should be released on condition that 
they should take him, with some supplies, to Roanoke Island. 
This, he says, was done, the ships being allowed to sail on giving 
bond that they would visit Virginia. At the last moment, how- 
ever, they refused to accept any cargo for the colonists and 
merely permitted White, himself, to come on board. 5 We have 
now another version of this episode 6 to the effect that it was 
William Sanderson, Raleigh's chief commercial supporter in his 
overseas enterprises, who arranged for the release of Watts's 
ships provided that they should call at Roanoke Island and that 
they should take with them Sanderson's own ship, the Moon- 
light, commanded by Edward Spicer who had been on the 1587 
voyage. 7 The four vessels were to seek prizes in the West Indies 
and then go on to Virginia. We do not know whether the Moon- 
light was to carry any supplies for the colonists, though it is 
possible that she did. 

White's journal is not too careful in its references to the ships 
which took part in the expedition. He, himself, sailed in the flag- 
ship (or admiral) , the Hopewell, which was also, and more gen- 
erally, known as the Harry and John, and gives her commander's 

4 They are to be published in the Hakluyt Society's volumes on the Roanoke voyage which 
are being edited by the present writer. 

5 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 404-405. 

6 Public Record Office, London, High Court of Admiralty. Interrogatories on behalf of 
William Sanderson (H. C. A., 23/4, f. 326). The High Court of Admiralty is hereafter re- 
ferred to as H.C.A. 

7 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 392. 

Christopher Newport in 1590 307 

name as "Captain Cooke," 8 thus concealing the fact that he was 
Captain Abraham Cocke, an experienced and romantic figure 
who had spent some years in South America. 9 With her was the 
John Evangelist, sometimes referred to as the Hopewell's pin- 
nace, whose commander "Captaine Lane" is distinguished cor- 
rectly by Hakluyt as Captain William Lane 10 to avoid any 
confusion with Ralph Lane. The third vessel was the vice- 
admiral, the Little John, which is usually referred to by White 
as the John, 11 thus providing several possibilities of confusion 
with the other vessels. Her captain is nowhere named, but it is 
now clear that he was Christopher Newport 12 in what was, so far 
as is known, his first command. In tracing the Little John through 
White's narrative we are therefore following Newport's progress 
from England to the West Indies and back. 

Watts's three ships slipped out of Plymouth on March 20, 1590, 
and kept together until they reached Dominica on April 30. From 
here, on May 2, the Hopewell and John Evangelist sailed on to 
scour the coasts of Puerto Rico, while leaving the Little John 
"playing off and on about Dominica, hoping to take some Span- 
iard outwardes bound to the Indies." 13 All she took, however, 
were two young Caribs and they escaped when the vessel, de- 
spairing of a prize, had gone to Santa Cruz (Saint Croix) to 
take ballast. She then sailed on to make a rendezvous with the 
Hopewell and the pinnace at the island of Saona off the south- 
eastern tip of Hispaniola. Her next assignment, on May 19, was 
to ply the Mona Channel between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, 
along with a tiny frigate which the Hopewell had taken, so as to 
intercept the Santo Domingo squadron, which was due to join 
the homeward-bound Spanish fleet at Havana, if it should take 
that course. She was, however, to wait only five days and then 
to join the Hopeivell and the John Evangelist near Cape Tibu- 
ron at the southwestern end of Hispaniola. This she did and 
reached the rendezvous on May 26. 14 From then on, for some 
five weeks, we hear nothing of the Little John, but apparently 

8 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 414-416. 

9 Sir William Foster, ed., The Voyages of Sir James Lancaster, 1591-1603, (London, The 
Hakluyt Society, 1940), 41. 

10 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 409. 

11 E.g., Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 407. 

12 Examination of Christopher Newport (pp. 314-316, below); Inventory of the Grand Jesus, 
December 20, 1590 (H. C. A. 24/58, no. 72). 

13 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 407. 

14 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 409. 

308 The North Carolina Historical Review 

with her consorts she plied up and down the entrance to the 
Windward Passage and along the south coast of Hispaniola, 
still awaiting the tardy Spanish squadron. By July 2, when 
reinforcements were to join them, there were six vessels under 
Captain Cocke's command, Watts's three ships with two tiny 
Spanish frigates and a substantial merchant vessel taken as 
prizes by the Hopewell and the John Evangelist. 15 

According to William Sanderson, Watts's three ships had left 
Plymouth in March without waiting for Sanderson's vessel, the 
Moonlight, or, as she was also called, the Mary Terlanye. 16 She 
was not ready until May and when she was about to sail alone 
she received an offer of consortship from another small vessel, 
a pinnace of some thirty tons, which Captain Spicer accepted. 
This was the Conclude, Joseph Harris, captain, owned by Thomas 
Middleton of London and his partners. 17 It was these two ships 
which, after a rapid outward passage, joined the other six vessels 
near Cape Tiburon on July 2. John White, who saw little of the 
Conclude, refers to her as the Moonlight's pinnace and calls her 
captain, Joseph Harris, "Mast er Harps" : 18 he does not mention 
that the Moonlight was owned by Sanderson. Before there had 
been time for either courtesies or business — an agreement about 
the way prize money was to be shared would have saved much 
litigation later — the Santo Domingo squadron of fourteen ships 
at last came in sight. All the eight vessels under English com- 
mand sailed at once in pursuit. 19 The Spaniards scattered, in- 
tending to make for Jamaica where they could hope to reassemble 
in shelter. The English squadron evidently divided, the Hopewell 
keeping with the Moonlight and Conclude, the Little John taking 
the John Evangelist and the two small prizes. La Trinidad, the 
large prize, sailed alone and may have been lost. 20 The chase was 
continued from noon until nightfall, and it is probable that it 
was Newport in the Little John who made a prize before dark. 21 

At dawn it was Newport's vessels that were nearest to the 
Spanish ships making for Jamaica. The John Evangelist was in 

15 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 408-410; and below. 
"H. C. A. 23/4, 11th item from end. 

17 Thomas Middleton, etc. v. Robert Hallett, John Watts, etc. (H. C. A. 13/28, depositions 
of Henry Millett, John Tayler, and Thomas Harden, October 26, 1590; of William Davell 
and John Bedford, October 27; of Henry Swanne and Hugh Hardinge, October 29). 

18 E.g., Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 410. 

19 Wright, Further English Voyages, 245, 255; Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 410. 

20 See below. 

21 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, 420; Wright, Further English Voyages, 245, 255. New- 
port, himself, does not mention this prize. 

Christopher Newport in 1590 309 

the lead and tried to prevent the enemy's reaching safety under 
the guns of Santiago de la Vega. She bravely challenged the 
Spanish flagship, commanded by Captain Vicente Gonzalez, 22 
but turned aside to try to head off some other vessels from the 
harbour and was so far successful that two of them were forced 
to go aground. The Spanish account continues : 

At this juncture the English vice-admiral [the Little John] came 
up, a ship of about 160 tons burden, and with the first vessel 
[the John Evangelist] resumed the fight with Vicente Gonzalez's 
ship. When they had fought a while both enemy vessels withdrew 
for fear lest they also run aground, and Vicente Gonzalez made 
the harbour of Jamaica, on the south side with six or seven 
ships. 23 

Newport, though foiled, was not defeated. He got his ships 
together and armed his boats and pinnaces to go inshore against 
the Spanish vessels which had grounded. Their crews did not 
stay to fight and so the English boats were able to haul off both 
of them unmolested. One of the prizes sank, however, before she 
could be pillaged, but the other was salvaged. It was now prob- 
ably late in the day of July 3 and Newport had done all he could ; 
keeping his ships together during the night, he set sail on the 
morning of July 4 for Cape Corrientes near the western end of 
Cuba. 24 If all his consorts remained with him he had now in- 
creased his squadron from four to six vessels. His progress must 
have been slow because at least one of his prizes was damaged. 
He delayed four or five days at Cape Corrientes before going on 
to Cape San Antonio at the southwestern tip of Cuba, where he 
stayed another three days. There he determined to improve the 
sailing capacity of his squadron. The prize salvaged on the 
Jamaica coast was rudderless and a liability, so she was stripped, 
her cargo of sugar, ginger, and hides redistributed, and then 
scuttled. Some Spanish prisoners were also set on shore. 25 Pre- 
cisely how long all this took is not clear but it is evident that 
Newport, by the time he rounded the western end of Cuba and 

22 He had commanded the Spanish expedition which had searched Chesapeake Bay in the 
summer of 1588 for the English colony which was believed to have been established 
there, and had accidentally discovered some traces of the "Lost Colony" on the Carolina 
Banks on his return journey. See D. B. Quinn, "Some Spanish Reactions to Elizabethan 
Colonial Enterprises," in Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th ser., I (1951), 15-17. 

23 Wright, Further English Voyages, 255. 

24 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 420; Wright, Further English Voyages, 255; p. 315, 

25 Wright, Further English Voyages, 255-256. 

310 The North Carolina Historical Review 

made for Matanzas on the north coast, was at least a week, and 
probably more, behind the Hopewell and her consorts, and had 
missed all opportunity of rejoining them. 

During the chase on July 2 the Hopewell, the Moonlight, and 
the Conclude had not sailed so far southwards as Newport and 
his ships and had anchored at nightfall. During the night a 
Spanish ship was heard nearby and when day broke the three 
English vessels closed in on her. She was El Buen Jesus, called 
by the English the Grand Jesus or the Great Jesus, vice-admiral 
of the Santo Domingo squadron, which had failed to follow the 
course towards Jamaica set by Gonzalez. After a sturdy defence 
she was forced to surrender. 26 The precise part which each of 
the English ships played in her capture was to be fiercely con- 
tested in the courts after she was brought to England and need 
not detain us here, but she was a rich prize and was given a crew 
under Robert Hallett from the Hopewell, drawn from all three 
ships and including the Concluded captain, Joseph Harris. 27 
Captain Cocke now made for Cape San Antonio, arriving on 
July 11, but to his intense chagrin the four ships were becalmed 
there while the treasure fleet from the Spanish Main, under 
Juan de Oribe Appalua, appeared off the western end of Cuba 
and made its way to Havana which it entered on July 19/29. 28 
There was nothing else to do but to make for the next rendezvous, 
Matanzas, east of Havana, where the ships arrived on July 25 
without any sight of Newport. After a few days' patrolling off 
Havana, Captain Cocke decided to wait no longer, but to set out 
for Virginia. 29 The Conclude parted company with the other 
vessels and apparently sailed direct for the Azores. 30 The Grand 
Jesus, it was intended, should sail direct to England, but she left 
the Hopewell and the Moonlight without the courtesy of a fare- 

26 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 411. High Court of Admiralty documents cited in 
notes 6, 12, and 17 above. The Privy Council to Dr. Julius Caesar, Oct. 11, 1590 (H.C.A. 
14/27, no. 73); draft Sequestration Order, Oct. 13, 1590 (H.C.A. 14/27, no. 118, last leaf); 
Inventory of the Great Jesus, Dec. 20, 1590 (H.C.A. 24/58, f. 115); Personal Answer of Robert 
Hallett, Nov. 3, 1590 (H.C.A. 13/101); Interrogatories on behalf of Robert Hallett (H.C.A. 
3/24, ff. 333-339); Articles on behalf of John Watts, etc. (H.C.A. 24/58, ff. 118-120); Deposi- 
tions of Antonio de Samora Carenio and Francisco Gomez, Jan. 8, 1591 (H.C.A. 13/28); 
note of Articles on behalf of the Lord High Admiral (H.C.A. 24/58, after no. 93); Examina- 
tion of Abraham Cocke, Robert Hutton and Michael Geere, Nov. 10, 1590 (H.C.A. 13/28); 
entries of Jan. 11, 12, 16, 1591 (Book of Acts, H.C.A. 3/21); Decree in Middleton, etc., v. 
Hallett (H.C.A. 24/58, no. 71). 

-' 7 See, especially, Deposition of William Davell, October 27, 1590 (H. C. A. 13/28). 

28 Wright, Further English Voyages, lxxvii. The Spanish New Style reckoning was ten 
days ahead of the English Old Style. 

29 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 412. 

:i0 Depositions of William Davell, October 27, 1590, and of Henry Millett, October 26, 1590 
(H. C. A. 13/28); Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 412. 

Christopher Newport in 1590 311 

well on July 31 after they had sailed through the Florida Chan- 
nel. She, too, sailed to the Azores and thence to the Thames. 31 

John White has told in sufficient and well-known detail how 
the remaining two ships paid their unavailing visit to the Caro- 
lina Banks and to Roanoke Island without finding the "Lost 
Colony." Captain Spicer and, several men from the Moonlight 
were drowned and the weather turned too bad for the search to 
be continued. White persuaded Cocke to winter in the West Indies 
and to make another search for the colonists at the end of the 
1591 privateering season, but the new commander of the Moon- 
light, John Bedford, 32 begged and obtained leave to bring his 
vessel home. Yet the Hopeivell failed to keep to her course under 
stress of weather and finally turned eastwards to the Azores. 
There amongst the English naval vessels and privateers who 
were awaiting the Spanish convoys she found the Moonlight and 
also the prize which the Little John, which had just left for 
England, had taken from the Santo Domingo squadron. From 
her prize crew John White picked up part of the story of New- 
port's adventures since July 2. 33 

These we have followed down to the end of July or beginning 
of August when he was ready to sail round the western end of 
Cuba. From what White learnt and what the Spanish documents 
tell the next part of the story becomes clear. Off Los Organos, the 
rocky promontories in northwestern Cuba, three Spanish vessels 
were sighted at sunset by the Little John and one of her consorts. 
These had sailed with Rodrigo de Rada and the Mexican fleet but 
had lost contact off Tortuga with the main body of the fleet 
which had reached Havana on July 3/13. 34 At dawn two of the 
Spanish ships were still in sight — the third having fled to Mex- 
ico 35 — and the Little John closed in on the smaller and weaker 
of her two adversaries, the ship commanded by Juan de Borde. 
Her consort, the Nuestra Senora del Rosario, Miguel de Acosta, 
master, threw a cable across her stern so as to be able to rein- 
force her when the English boarded. After a brisk exchange of 
artillery fire there was a bitter struggle when the boarding 
parties attacked. Captain Newport had his "right arm strooken 

31 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 405, 413-422. 

32 Deposition of John Bedford, October 27, 1590 (H. C. A. 13/28); Hakluyt, Principal 
Navigations, VIII, 419. 

33 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 420-421. 

34 Wright, Further English Voyages, lxxvii-viii. 

85 Wright, Further English Voyages, lxxviii, 246. 

312 The North Carolina Historical Review 

off," his lieutenant and four men killed, and sixteen others in- 
jured. By this time de Borde's ship was sinking and, though the 
English began to search her and removed some cochineal, "be- 
fore they could take out her treasure she sunke ; so that we lost 
thirteene Pipes of silver which sunke with her, besides much 
other rich marchandize." This disaster was followed by a 
further misfortune. The Nuestra Senora del Rosario now became 
the sole object of the English attack and was soon holed some 
nine times below the waterline and had two of her men killed and 
eight injured. But her crew got her clear and ran her aground 
on the western end of Los Organos, themselves getting away in 
their boats, as they expected the English to land and seize the 
cargo of hides and indigo which she held. The Little John, in spite 
of her losses, was making for land with this objective when her 
lookout reported that Spanish galleys from Havana were in 
sight, whereupon the Little John turned out to sea again and left 
the booty untaken. White's informant believed the lookout had 
been mistaken and that he had taken "certaine rockes" for the 
galleys, but this was not so. The two galleys of the Cuba Station, 
the San Agustin and the Brava, had gone out from Havana to 
clear the English from the north coast of the island. On July 27/ 
August 6 they encountered the boats containing the crew of the 
Nuestra Senora del Rosario, who were making for Havana. They 
then made search for Newport's ships, but they had disap- 
peared. 30 The English did stop another Spanish vessel nearby but 
merely took some meal from her and let her go. The Spanish 
frigates which came out from Havana to salvage the stranded 
vessel and her cargo were unsuccessful and she went to the 
bottom. 37 

It is not surprising that with Newport seriously injured and 
with several rich cargoes lost to them the English became dis- 
couraged. It is probable that they went on to Matanzas to find 
no trace of the Hopewell. It was, in any case, very late for New- 
port to keep his engagement to go on to Virginia, even had he 
not suffered such casualties, so, instead, he made for the Azores. 
From there he sailed about September 19 for England, having 
apparently encountered the Grand Jesus, from which he may 

36 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 420-421; Wright, Further English Voyages, 
Ixxviii, 247-249; and below. 

:!T Wright, Further English Voyages, 259; and below. 

Christopher Newport in 1590 313 

have transhipped some cargo for the Little John to take to Ports- 
mouth, where she apparently put in. 38 The John Evangelist re- 
turned and probably also the Santo Domingo prize, but there is 
no word of the other two prizes which were with Newport on 
July 2, nor of La Trinidad. The Hopewell (October 24) , 39 the 
Moonlight, and the Conclude, as well as the Grand Jesus, got 
safely back. 

The battle with the Spaniards being over — whether it yielded 
a final return of two or five prizes — the legal battle for the pro- 
ceeds of the voyage was now to begin. The Grand Jesus had not 
been long in the Thames before the owners of the Conclude took 
an action in the High Court of Admiralty against Robert Hallett, 
John Watts, and his partners to secure for their vessel a seventh 
share (estimated by them at £3,000) in the proceeds of the 
Grand Jesus. From October 26 onwards depositions were being 
taken on their behalf from members of the crews of the Conclude 
and the Moonlight, the latter being favourable to the pinnace's 
claims. 40 Watts was determined to keep whatever he could for 
his syndicate and, in pursuit of this aim, began an action against 
William Sanderson in an endeavour to prove that the Moonlight, 
like the Conclude, as he alleged, had no right to a share in the 
prize. Sanderson put up an active and somewhat embarrassing 
defence, recalling the terms under which Watts's ships had been 
allowed to sail from England in the first place. 41 The Lord High 
Admiral (Lord Howard of Effingham), to whom one-tenth of the 
prize goods was due by virtue of his office, and the Crown, which 
had the right to levy customs duties on the value of the prize 
goods, were also interested in these suits. 42 Owners and crews 
alike were concerned to win their case and yet conceal the true 
value of the prizes from the Crown and from each other. The 
official valuation of the Grand Jesus, made on December 20, was 
only £5806 10s 4d, 43 but much of her portable wealth had gone 
long before. On January 12, 1591, John Watts put in a list 
of defence witnesses in his attempt to prove that the prizes 
were taken by his own vessels alone. A number of these men had 

38 Interrogatories for William Sanderson (H. C. A. 23/4, f. 326). 

39 Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 423. 

40 References given in notes 17 and 26 above. 

41 Interrogatories for William Sanderson (H. C. A. 23/4, f. 326). 

42 This is shown by Newport's deposition and by the questions answered by Abraham 
Cocke, Robert Hutton, and Michael Geere, November 11, 1590 (H. C. A. 13/28), and also 
by the notes made by the judge, Dr. Julius Caesar (H. C. A. 24/58, following no. 93). 

43 H. C. A. 24/58, no. 72. 

314 The North Carolina Historical Review 

testified, or were to testify, in his favour. Among them was 
Christopher Newport. 44 His deposition, made on November 23, 
1590, and printed below for the first time, showed that he had in 
some measure recovered from his wound. He had by that time 
come up from Portsmouth and was probably at his home in 
Limehouse, so that he was able to attend the admiralty court at 
Orton Key for his examination. He was asked two questions only : 
what ships and prize goods were taken on the voyage, and what 
treasure, jewels, or other precious articles were among the spoil. 
His story is concise and cautious. It adds some details, confirms 
others already known, and is a valuable addition to the materials 
on the voyage. It gives his age as thirty. Even without his own 
evidence, Christopher Newport emerges from the 1590 voyage 
as an able commander and a brave antagonist. That he suffered, 
in the loss of his right arm, a serious handicap is not evident 
from his later career. 

It may be noted in conclusion that Watts obtained a decree 45 
in the admiralty court in favour of himself and his partners. This 
stated that the Grand Jesus was the Hopewell's prize alone, so 
that Sanderson and Middleton got nothing, at least officially, but 
the crews of the Little John and the John Evangelist were entitled 
to shares in the proceeds of the voyage as a whole. We do not 
know how much Newport received in the way of shares, but it is 
highly probable that he, like other members of the expedition, 
had tucked away already a much less modest amount than he 
admitted in his examination. His bravery and his wound, after 
all, deserved some compensation. 

Christopher Newport's Deposition 
Die Lune xxiii Novembris 1590 47 
Officium Christopher Newporte of Lymehouse 48 mariner aged 
domini xxx yeares or thereaboutes 49 sworne & examined before 
gratia 46 the right worshipf ull Master Doctor Cesar Iudge of the 
Admiralty vppon certaine articles ministred on the 
behaulfe of the Lord Admirall 50 Sayth thereunto as followeth 

44 H. C. A. 3/21. 

« H. C. A. 24/58, no. 71. 

40 This apparently means "Authority by his lordship's grace." Dr. Julius Caesar, judge of 
the admiralty, is making his inquiries on behalf of the lord admiral, Lord Charles Howard, 
whose perquisite it was to take one-tenth of all spoil brought home by privateers. 

17 Monday, November 23, 1590. 

48 The district bordering Limehouse Reach on the River Thames where many seamen lived. 

49 Witnesses were asked their ages, though the results are not always reliable. If this 
is accurate the date of Newport's birth can be placed between November 24, 1559, and 
Novmber 23, 1560. No previous information on this has been available. 

r>0 The Articles, the questions asked Newport on behalf of Lord Charles Howard, have 
not been found, but a rough note by Dr. Caesar reminds him to ask Abraham Cocke, 

Christopher Newport in 1590 315 

To the first article he sayth he was Captaine of the Little Iohn 
this late viadge to the Indies, and beinge in company of the Harry 
and Iohn one of his consortes they first tooke two frigottes 51 one 
being laden with hydes & the other with stones, and her with 
hides they vnladed & putt the hides a shore on the Indies think- 
inge to take them on borde agayne and soe vsed the f rigott being 
of vi or vii tonnes for theire necessary vses, & by reason of pur- 
chase that happened they wente away & lefte the said hydes on 
the shore. Afterwardes they tooke an other frigott worth aboute 
one thowsand poundes 52 & putt xviii men into her to bringe her 
for Englande & loste them in the Indies what ys become of them 
god knoweth. 53 Nexte the Harry & Iohn tooke a Spanishe shippe 54 
with sugar ginger & hides which ys broughte into this Ryuer of 
Thames & there landed. And the nexte day 55 the Iohn, the Iohn 
Euangeliste & two frigottes did dryue two other shippes of the 
Spanishe flete on shore, and gott them of agayne and the nexte 
day one of them soncke without sauinge eany goodes out of the 
same, and the other hauinge loste her rudder, & not being able 
to be broughte home, they tooke out xvi Chestes of suger into 
the Iohn Euangeliste, and iiiCL hides also were taken into the 
Iohn with some bundells of salsaperill and nothing alse to his 
remembraunce sauinge some quantity of ginger was also taken 
out of the said prize and the reste was sonck in the shippe. 56 

Afterwardes saylinge to S* Antony they foughte with two 
shippes hauinge of the Kinges treasure, and tooke one of them 
beinge laden with Cochenile hides & treasure as he herde and 
after they had taken out six Chestes & bagges of Cochenile she 
presentely soncke with all her ladinge within one quarter of an 
hower after they tooke her. 57 And the other shipp 58 after sore 
fighte they drove a shore vppon the Rockes and was wholy caste 
away beinge laden with fyue hundreth Chestes of Cochenile & 
thre hundreth Chestes of silkes as he herde by a Frigott laden 
with meale which they tooke the nexte day after bounde from 
S* Iohn de Louis to Auana. 59 

To the second he sayth he sawe nether pearle Iewell siluer or 
goulde that was taken in eany of the said prizes sauinge about 
xii 11 . 60 in siluer which was taken out of the prize that soncke & 

and his company, as Hallett, Newport and others, what quantity of goods was taken in the 
Indies, especially pearls, silver, gold (coined or bullion), silks, jewels, and "other riche 
comodities," and who has any of these and where they are (H. C. A. 24/58, after no. 93). 

51 One was taken by the Hopewell (or Harry and John) near the northwest end of 
Puerto Rico on June 7, and the other near Cape Tiburon on June 14 (Hakluyt, Principal 
Navigations, VIII, 410). 

52 La Trinidad, taken at Yaguana, Hispaniola, by the John Evangelist between June 17 
and 24 estimated by White to be worth £1,000 to £1,300 (Wright, Further English Voyages, 
254-255; Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 410). 

53 No record of the arrival of La Trinidad in England has been found. 
64 El Buen Jesus (pp. 310-314 above). 

55 July 3. 

66 This part of Newport's statement is confirmed by White and by the Spanish account 
(Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, VIII, 420: Wright, Further English Voyages, 255-256), 
except that the latter says that the whole cargo was trans-shipped before the vessel was 
scuttled and that it included hides. 

57 Juan de Borde's ship (p. 311, above). 

58 Nuestra Senora del Rosario (p. 311, above). 

59 From the Basque port of St. Jean de Luz to Havana (see p. 312, above). 

60 Probably £12 in value and not twelve lb. in weight. It was apparently taken from Juan 
de Borde's ship. 

316 The North Carolina Historical Review 

shared amongst the company. But sayth theire was a bagge of 
pearle 61 which Abraham Cocke had in his custody & broughte 
home what ys become thereof he knoweth not. And sayth aboute 
xviii boultes of silke 62 was gotten out of the shipp that soncke 
beinge founde in the mariners Chestes whereof xii boultes were 
deliuered to Master Wattes the company shared the reste. Affirm- 
inge that all the Cochenill & other goodes which he hath before 
spoken of were broughte home to this City & deliuered to the 
owners. And other thinges theire was not taken to his knowledge 
of which silke this examinate had two boultes & a haulf e & aboute 
thre or foure poundes in money which he spente in releeuinge 
sicke folckes in the viadge. 63 

[signed] xpofer 64 newport 65 

61 Pearls formed part of the lading of El Buen Jesus (Wright, Further English Voyages, 

63 This is likely also to have come from Juan de Borde's ship. 

03 The crews were entitled to (a) pillage (usually limited by agreement or custom), and 
(b) shares when the accounts were wound up. Most sailors managed to embezzle more than 
they were entitled to, and there is no reason to accept Newport's story as being, precisely, 

64 The old abbreviation for Christopher. 

65 H. C. A. 13/28, November 23, 1590. I am indebted for this transcript and for other help to 
Dr. K. R. Andrews, who hopes shortly to publish a study of Newport from 1581 to 1606 which 
will contain much new material. 



By C. Robert Haywood 

Early in the year 1760 Henry McCulloh in writing a mer- 
cantilist propaganda pamphlet for English consumption included 
among numerous suggestions for colonial reform a simple state- 
ment that ". . . it will be absolutely necessary to establish proper 
Funds in America by a Stamp Duty on Vellum and Paper. . . J' 1 
From this very casual beginning the importance to England of 
the stamp duty grew to the point that the Annual Register of 
1766 devoted three out of eight chapters of the "History of 
Europe" to the Stamp Act conflict in America. The effect on the 
thinking of the colonists was equally great. The political history 
of North Carolina in the years 1765 and 1766 is almost wholly 
the story of the effect of the Stamp Act. The excitement in North 
Carolina over the passage of the act subsided only after the 
psychology of resistance had been developed which laid the 
basis for more serious conflict both within the colony and within 
the empire. 

The French and Indian War had in the process of removing 
France from Canada fixed on England the unbelievable debt of 
£140,000,000. To a nation which still embraced the mercantilist 
theory that gold in surplus in the treasury meant power and 
strength, the debt appeared truly alarming. It became apparent 
to English officials that the debt must be removed. To do this it 
was necessary that taxes be raised, expenses curtailed, and a 
more efficient administration organized. This came to include all 
the empire, colonies as well as England. 

There were at least two other postwar obligations of the 
English government which directly affected North Carolina, i.e., 
protection and reorganization of colonial administration. As far 
as America was concerned it was a problem of protection from 
both the French and the Indians. Prospects of hostilities with the 
defeated and humiliated France were always in the background 
of English political thinking. 2 The Indian menace was to remain 

1 Henry McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations Relative to Our Concern in America 
(London, 1760), 12. 

2 George Louis Beer, British Colonial Policy, 175Jt-1765 (N. Y., 1922), 252. 


318 The North Carolina Historical Review 

an ever present danger down to the Revolution. The late war had 
left serious doubts in the minds of English officials as to the 
ability of the colonists to meet either of these threats. 

Furthermore the war years had been a period when the colo- 
nies had begun to flex their fast-developing muscles. In North 
Carolina, as in most of the other colonies, the war period had 
demonstrated the inefficiency and impotency of the colonial ad- 
ministration. In nearly every clash between the Crown's preroga- 
tive and the colonial legislature the latter had emerged the victor. 3 
While the colonial soldier was winning honor for England on the 
field of battle the colonial politician was winning colonial rights 
and privileges in the legislature. The natural result was the 
gradual growth of an independent spirit in the American mind. 

With the advent of peace the English government was placed 
in a position in which she could deal with other than diplomatic 
and military matters. Under the guidance of George Grenville a 
program was developed designed to meet the three great prob- 
lems. Protection was to be supplied from England, the reigns of 
colonial control tightened, and the colonies forced to contribute 
to the expense of government. Such a program was destined to 
meet opposition in North Carolina. 

North Carolina felt no pressing need for protection. France 
was too remote a danger for serious consideration. It was felt 
that the militia law passed in 1764 was adequate for meeting any 
Indian threat. Furthermore, the Cherokee had been quiet since 
their defeat by Colonel James Grant's Highlanders and the com- 
bined troops of Virginia and North and South Carolina. Some- 
thing of the confidence of the North Carolinians can be seen in 
their condemnation of Governor Tryon in running the South 
Carolina-Cherokee line. To the North Carolinian's way of think- 
ing an expedition consisting of less than fifty militia men was 
an undue extravagance. Tryon was severely criticized for this 
unnecessary display of pomp and ceremony, in spite of the fact 
that this expedition took the governor into the heart of what 
had been hostile Indian territory no more than five years 

The attempt to subordinate the colonial political institutions to 
English control was to meet determined opposition. The com- 

3 Eugene Irving McCormac, "Colonial Opposition to Imperial Authority during the French 
and Indian War," University of California Publications in History, I, 92. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 319 

parative freedom of the war period had developed a spirit among 
the controlling class which demanded an increasingly larger and 
more independent role in their own government. England had 
made the serious mistake of issuing instructions to the governors 
of North Carolina which were in opposition to prevailing colonial 
desires without backing their demands with actual enforcing 
power. The governors, whose very subsistence was dependent 
upon the colonies, were unable to cope with the situation. Some 
of the disputes that developed were mere matters of personali- 
ties in conflict, but an increasing number came to center around 
constitutional issues. The difference in opinion of the colonial 
and home government as to what made up the fundamental law 
of North Carolina or the empire was one of the most serious 
problems of the reorganization program. 4 The degree of freedom 
demanded in North Carolina was incompatible with the English 
concept of colonial status. 5 Quarrels between the Assembly and 
Governor Dobbs over who should control finances, 6 troops, 7 and 
Assembly procedure 8 and disputes centering around the appoint- 
ment of agents, 9 lands, fees and chartering towns all involved 
constitutional interpretation. Raper illustrates the widening gap 
between colonial and English constitutional thought by citing 
the large number of acts disallowed by the mother country. In 
1754 twenty-six acts were disallowed on the ground that the legis- 
lature had infringed on the exclusive rights of the crown. In 
1759 five acts were disallowed because they had usurped the 
crown's authority to create courts. 10 In annulling an act of 1766 
the Privy Council wrote, "We are therefore of opinion, that an 
Act so contrary to the Spirit and principle of the British Laws 
should not be allowed. . . " n 

In most of the disputes involving the governor the elected 
colonial legislature emerged the victor. As a result the lower 
house began to exercise powers beyond those originally consider- 

4 Charles Lee Raper, North Carolina, A Study in English Colonial Government (N. Y., 
1904), 225- Hereafter cited Colonial Government. 

5 McCormac, "Colonial Opposition to Imperial Authority," 92. 

6 W. L. Saunders, ed., Colonial Records of North Carolina (Raleigh, Goldsboro, etc., 1886- 
1898), VI, 1 et seq. Hereafter cited Colonial Records. 

7 Colonial Records, 32. 

8 The most serious dispute centered around the quarrel which extended down to 1773 
concerning the number of members needed to constitute a quorum. Colonial Records, VI, 
257, 319, 344-345, 539, 1024-1025; IX, 593-596. 

9 Colonial Records, VI, 539; Ella Lonn, The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies 
(Chapel Hill, 1945), 55. 

10 Raper, Colonial Government, 226 et seq. 

11 Acts of the Privy Council, Colonial Series (London, 1911), V, 38. 

320 The North Carolina Historical Review 

ed a part of its functions. The governor usually took a position 
based on precedent and the English understanding of the con- 
stitution. Although the governors were granted rather large 
discretionary powers, their main guide for action came from the 
instructions that came directly from the British government. 12 
Governor Dobbs, the most vigorous defender of the crown pre- 
rogative, was frequently forced to retreat and make concessions 
in direct violation of his instructions, as in the case of the is- 
suance of paper money. 13 In times of war Dobbs was at the mercy 
of the Assembly, which furnished the revenue and men to fight 
the war. 14 Once the Assembly had successfully evaded following 
the instructions of England it was not a large step in their think- 
ing to deny the right of all outside interference. 

The growing spirit of independence impressed nearly every 
Englishman who spent any time in the colonies. When Bute's 
administration began looking for information as to colonial 
conditions there was no other one fact that was repeated so 
frequently. 15 Other colonial governors wrote in the same vein as 
Governor Dobbs when he advised the English government to take 
more vigorous action to ". . . suppress a republican spirit of In- 
dependency rising in this colony. The Assembly think themselves 
entitled to all the Privileges of a British House of Commons and 
therefore ought not to submit to His Majesty' hon. ble Privy 
Council . . . or . . . Governor and Council here whose person they 
would usurp and place all in a Junto of an Assembly here." 16 
Even before the French and Indian War James Abercromby, the 
mercantilist-minded agent of Governor Johnston, was hinting 
that the colonies might some day "feel their own strength" and 
settle in their own way the question as to "whether they are to 
remain subjects or become confederates." 17 Military officials 
returning home spoke of the necessity of regulating the growing 
spirit of independence in America. 18 It was, however, a spirit 
more apparent to the British mind than to the Americans them- 

13 Charles Lee Raper, North Carolina: A Royal Province, 1729-1775 (Chapel Hill, N. C, 
1901), 71. Hereafter cited Royal Province. 

« Colonial Records, VI, 1308-1311. 

14 Raper, Royal Province, 48. 

15 Sydney George Fisher, The Struggle for American Independence (Philadelphia, 1908), 
I, 70. 

16 Colonial Records, VI, 279. 

17 Quoted from pamphlet of 1752 entitled "An Examination of the Acts of Parliament 
relative to the Trade and Government of our American Colonies." C. M. Andrews, The 
Colonial Background of the American Revolution (New Haven, 1924), IV, 410. 

18 Fisher, The Struggle for American Independence, I, 70. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 321 

selves, who were full of protestations of loyalty. Their thinking 
had not yet escaped the web of tradition, habit, education, social 
and economic ties which held their formal loyalty to the "Old 
Colonial System." But what they actually desired, although only 
a very few farsighted men like Benjamin Franklin realized it, 
was what we today would call dominion status. In 1765 no one in 
North Carolina had offered any such plan; yet with the magic 
of hindsight we can see in their formal action and statements 
that anything less would have been rejected. 

The most apt characterization of North Carolina's attitude 
toward any governmental agency's attempt to raise revenue can 
be summed up in a single word: negative. Taxes were collected 
with difficulty except for the most necessary and immediate local 
use. Once the purpose for the revenue was removed from the 
immediate locale or time, collection became next to impossible. 
The Assembly was never able to redeem her paper money largely 
because of the inability of the colonial government to collect 
added poll taxes. The mother country had very little experience 
in collecting taxes in North Carolina. During the French and 
Indian War she had relied upon the requisition system, which 
was next to a failure. The only direct crown levy in North Caro- 
lina was in the form of a feudal dues on land. The difficulties, 
evasions, and litigation resulting from this anachronism cover 
the colonial period. The North Carolina Assembly was especially 
reticent in approving direct taxes. This was a reflection of the 
self-interested thinking on the part of the property-owning class 
of the coastal plain who dominated the colony's politics. As any 
direct tax would have fallen on the accumulated wealth of the 
landowners they managed to limit all direct taxes in the colonial 
budget. 19 As a matter of fact, all taxes other than the poll tax 
were limited to extraordinary and special levies for limited 
periods of time. 

The English tax system prior to the passage of the Stamp Act 
consisted of indirect taxes in the form of customs duties levied 
as control measures and not for the purpose of raising revenue. 
The enforcement of the laws was lax and the proceeds that were 
collected were usually used within the colony. The crowded 
profession of smuggling was considered a legitimate occupation. 

19 Coralie Parker, The History of Taxation in North Carolina During the Colonial Period 
(N. Y., 1928), 73. 

322 The North Carolina Historical Review 

As the duties inconvenienced the planter politician but little, 
there was practically no formal complaint and apparently little 
private resentment even of the later Navigation and Sugar acts. 
As far as revenue was concerned, customs duties were a losing 
proposition. In the two-year period 1765 to 1767 the charges of 
managing the customs laws exceeded the proceeds of the Bruns- 
wick port by £169/11/14 and at those of the Bath port by 
£79/7/9. 20 Such figures were hard to justify to the British officials 
intent on reducing the British debt. Thus it became one of the 
chief objectives of the American Revenue Act of March, 1764, 
to correct the abuses of the colonial commercial administration. 

The English plans for reorganizing colonial administration 
began under the ministry of Lord Bute and under the special 
guidance of George Grenville. Thus the program, although almost 
universally desired in England, was carried out under a govern- 
ment on a shaky foundation and, much like the foreign affairs 
of today, was caught up in the play of party politics. However, 
lack of self-confidence was certainly not apparent in Grenville's 

By the early part of 1763 it was decided to establish an ade- 
quate protective force in America. Grenville decided that an army 
of ten thousand was necessary and that part of the maintenance 
cost should be extracted from the colonies. The policy met with 
no opposition in England or the colonies, although it was a well 
established fact and known in America as early as March, 1763. 21 
It was only when the specific form of taxation was adopted by 
the passage of the Sugar Act of March, 1764, that there developed 
any thought of colonial opposition. The act called for duties on 
certain imports and a more rigid enforcement of customs regu- 
lations. The provisions fell heaviest on the northern colonies, al- 
though the provisions concerning smuggling should have affected 
North Carolina as much as any colony, but as Governor Tryon 
was to point out later, North Carolinians had ways of circum- 
venting customs officials. Opposition was mild in North Carolina, 
at least officially, largely because the Assembly considered the 
act as a part of the commercial regulatory system. 22 As such no 
vital interest of the plantation owner was damaged and England 

20 Copies in the North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, of records of 
the British Public Record Office. Treasury Papers, Bundle 442, fo. 258. Hereafter cited 
PRO Treasury Papers. 

21 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, 275. 

22 Raper, Colonial Government, 230-231. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 323 

wisely refrained from diverting part of the revenue to pay 
colonial officeholders, as Dobbs had suggested. 23 North Carolina 
had in the past offered little opposition to the commercial policies 
of England. Her commerce was not affected by the Navigation 
Acts and the new Sugar Act added little to her burdens. 24 

In October, 1764, the Assembly did issue a protest against the 
commercial policies, but the Assembly was probably thinking 
more of the proposed stamp duty than the Sugar Act. The pro- 
test is important for its expression of the official colonial and 
apparently widely accepted ideas on taxation. The Assembly in 
response to the governor's speech referred to the concern with 
which they saw themselves ". . . Burthened with new Taxes and 
Impositions laid on us without our Privity and consent, and 
against what we esteem our Inherent right and Exclusive privi- 
lege of Imposing our own Taxes. . . ." 25 This represents one of 
the clearest statements of the idea of no taxation without repre- 
sentation that the pre-Stamp Act period offers and indicates 
something of the difficulties that any tax would meet. 

Since the Sugar Act met only about one-seventh of the cost of 
maintaining an army in America, Grenville had planned gradu- 
ally to increase the amount of revenue collected by levying new 
taxes. 26 At the time the Sugar Act was introduced he had sug- 
gested that the next session of parliament should adopt a colonial 
stamp duty. 27 

The stamp duty was by no means a diabolical invention of 
Grenville but had already had a long and useful history in Eng- 
land, yielding about £100,000 per year with practically no col- 
lection cost. 28 It had been proposed for colonial use to Robert 
Walpole and Pelham. Pitt admitted that even in his administra- 
tion there had been those who ". . . proposed to me to burn my 
fingers with an American Stamp Act." 29 At least two colonial 
agents, William Knox of Georgia and Israll Mauduit of Massa- 
chusetts, and two colonial governors, Shirley of Massachusetts, 
and Keith of Pennsylvania, had advocated a stamp duty. 30 The 

■ ^ Colonial Records, VI, 1021. 

24 Raper, Colonial Government, 230. 

25 Colonial Recoi-ds, VI, 1261. 

26 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 175A-1765, 275. 

^William Cobbett, Parliamentary History (London, 1806-1820), XV, 1427. 

28 John C. Miller, Origins of the American Revolution (Boston, 1943), 110. 

29 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XV, 105. 

30 Wm. Byrd, History of the Dividing Line and Other Tracts from the Papers of William 
Byrd, of Westover (Richmond, 1866), II, 226-227; Ella Lonn, The Colonial Agents of the 
Southern Colonies (Chapel Hill, 1945), 105; George Bancroft, History of the United States 
(Boston, 1837-1875), III, 58: Fisher, The Struggle for American Independence, I, 74. 

324 The North Carolina Historical Review 

immediate source of the idea for the Act of 1765 seems to have 
been Henry McCulloh. 31 McCulloh, writing in 1763, had pro- 
posed a plan for strengthening the control of England over her 
colonies and at the same time to benefit the English merchant 
and farmers by improving trade and levying certain taxes on the 
colonies, including a stamp duty. On October 10, 1763, he drew up 
a tabular statement in three columns under the heading, 

A state of the several articles proposed by Mr. M' Cull oh to be 
stamped, and the duties thereon; likewise a state of all the dif- 
ferent articles which are now stamped in Great Britain, in order 
to fix upon the articles which are to be inserted in the law in- 
tended for imposing Stamp duties in America and the West 

Two days later Grenville approved this plan following a confer- 
ence with McCulloh. 32 The decision reached at this point did not 
outline completely the act that followed. But it did lay the basis 
for the proposal to lay a stamp duty that was made in Grenville's 
budget on March 10, 1764. 33 Grenville was a careful and de- 
liberate administrator; therefore he proposed that the measure 
should stand discussion for a year in order that all parties con- 
cerned might have their say. Grenville apparently was willing 
to alter or discard the measure at any time during this year's 
moratorium if anyone would suggest something better. In speak- 
ing to a delegation of colonial agents he stated flatly, "If they 
think any other mode of taxation more convenient to them and 
make any proposition of equal efficacy with the stamp duty, I 
will give it all due consideration. ,,34 

Other remedies were mentioned but were rejected for prac- 
tical reasons. At least two of the proposals offered would have 
raised no colonial opposition or revenue. The old requisition sys- 
tem which had broken down even in time of war was rejected, as 
was a proposal to call a colonial congress to allot taxes to the 
various colonies. Grenville was correct in his position that the 
only result of a congress would be quarrels and haggling among 

31 There seems to be some confusion as to who this particular Henry McCulloh was. It ia 
quite possible that he is the famous North Carolina land speculator who was living in England 
as late as 1766. See PRO. Treasury Minute Book, T. 29, Vol. 37, 381. Or he may have been 
the persistent and unsuccessful seeker for North Carolina and other colonial offices who 
haunted the Board of Trade in England and who was unrelated to the land speculator. See 
James High, "Henry McCulloh: Progenitor of the Stamp Act," The North Carolina Historical 
Review, XXIX (January, 1952), 24-38, and letters to the editor in the present issue, pp. 

32 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations, xv. 

33 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XV, 1428. 

34 Bancroft, History of the United States, III, 74. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 325 

the colonies as to their share of the tax with no returns in actual 
revenue. 35 

As no adequate substitute was brought forward Grenville con- 
tinued with preparations for a stamp tax. Instructions were sent 
to the governors to make up lists of all legal instruments used or 
expected to be used in order that the tax list could be prepared. 36 
Conciliatory measures were passed in an attempt to sugar-coat 
the bitter stamp duty pill. Concessions were made to New Eng- 
land's whale fishing. Pennsylvania was to be allowed to ship iron 
to Ireland, and the West Indies received a number of special privi- 
leges. North Carolina, which had given little opposition to previous 
acts, was strangely singled out for special considerations. The 
shipment of her rice to the newly opened West Indies ports was 
placed on an unrestricted basis and bounties were ". . . guaran- 
teed upon the importation of deals, planks, boards, and timber, 
into the kingdom. . . . " 37 

With this preparation behind him Grenville introduced the 
Stamp Bill into Parliament and after what Pitt called a "languid 
debate" it passed the House of Commons with only a small 
minority in opposition. 38 Of the two or three members who spok^ 
against the act only Isaac Barre gave a full speech. However 
his reference to the colonials as "sons of liberty" was to have 
wide ramifications in America. 39 In the House of Lords there was 
no debate or division. The king at the moment was indulging in 
one of his lapses into insanity and on March 22, 1765, the Stamp 
Act became law by the assent of a royal commission. 

Grenville could well congratulate himself on the smooth course 
of his schemes. It is true that six of the colonies had protested 
by petitions which were rejected, as was customary when Par- 
liament dealt with revenue bills. 40 But the violent opposition 
darkly hinted at by Colonel Barre seemed remote. However, in- 
structions were directed to the governors of the colonies ordering 
them to give aid and assistance to the distribution of stamps and 
to be especially vigilant in preventing fraud and abuses in the 
offices created. 41 Apparently the government anticipated more 

35 Miller, Origins of the American Revolution, 110. 

39 Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New-York (Albany, 1856), 
VIII, 646. 

37 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 71. 

38 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 40. 

39 Parliamentary History, XYI, 39. 

40 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765, 285. 

41 H. Smyth, ed., The Writings of Benjamin Franklin (New York, 1905-1907), VI, 200. 

326 The North Carolina Historical Review 

trouble with officials who were to collect the tax than with the 
colonists who were to pay it. These officials were the subject of 
special consideration by Grenville. He saw in their appointment 
a chance to create good will between the mother country and the 
colonies. Wheatly, Grenville's secretary, called the agents to- 
gether and asked them to appoint "discreet and reputable Per- 
sons" to the various offices who would be agreeable to the colo- 
nists. 42 Franklin fell for the bait, nominated his friends to office, 
and advised Jared Ingersoll to apply. Nine years later Franklin 
was still trying to explain away his action and Ingersoll was still 
trying to collect his pay. North Carolina's agent at the time was 
Couchet Jouvencal, a strong defender of colonial rights who was 
later to be suspended by the Board of Trade for his outspoken 
stand during the Stamp Act controversy. The men appointed 
to the North Carolina posts probably represent his choice. They 
were North Carolinians of prominence and esteem in their own 
localities. Henry Eustace McCulloh, Collector at Beaufort (per- 
haps an exception to the rule) , and Robert Palmer, Collector at 
Bath Town, had been members of the Council under Dobbs and 
Tryon. William Dry, Collector and Searcher at Brunswick, the 
man who later "talked treason by the hour," had been a member 
of both the Assembly and Council. The much-abused stamp agent 
Houston was a member of the Assembly, a physician, and Justice 
of Peace. 43 William Pennington, Comptroller at Brunswick, was 
much admired in Willington society for his "polished urbanity." 44 
If any group of men could have made the Stamp Act acceptable 
this should have been the group. That they failed and lived to 
regret their appointment is amply attested. Henry Eustace 
McCulloh, when he saw the turn of events, no doubt following 
the lead of his sovereign, found it advisable to secure a leave of 
absence as he was ". . . almost blind from a Disorder in his Head 
and unfit for all business." 45 

Grenville's feeling of complacency lasted until June, when the 
news of the colonial opposition reached England. The amazement 
of the average Englishman on hearing the news was probably 
as great as Grenville's consternation. The English press had 

42 Lonn, The Colonial Agents of the Southern Colonies, 159, 365. 

43 PRO, Treasury Paper Correspondence. Bundle 452 contains the list of North Carolina 
offices and office holders. 

** James Sprunt, Chronicles of the Cape Fear River (Raleigh, 1916), 76. 
« PRO, Treasury Minute Book, T. 29, Vol. 37, 381. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 327 

completely overlooked the significance of the act until August, 
1765, when the London Chronicle printed a dialogue by way of 
explaining it. 40 The tax-laden Englishmen were even more 
surprised to learn that the furor had been caused by a tax de- 
signed to raise no more than £145,000 in the American colonies. 47 
Stamp duties ranging from a halfpenny to £10 were placed on 
commercial papers of various kinds in use or expected to be used 
in the future ; on deeds, bonds, leases and other legal documents, 
pamphlets, newspapers, liquor licenses, etc. Heavy fines and 
forfeitures were provided for violations which could be collected 
in the vice-admiralty courts. 48 The funds raised were earmarked 
for colonial defense, of which the colonies were to pay no more 
than one-third of the total cost. There was no attempt to tie the 
revenue to the English debt financing scheme. 

Nothing demonstrates better than the English and North 
Carolina attitudes toward the Stamp Act just how far the colo- 
nies had grown from the mother country. To England armed 
resistance to escape what amounted to a shilling tax per capita 
seemed foolish and opposition from an agrarian colony doubly so. 
The English people and officials simply did not understand the 
economic conditions, the actual political system, and especially 
the constitutional philosophy of the colonies. English ignorance is 
understandable, since the colonists had never completely formal- 
ized this philosophy. In North Carolina it was only after the 
shock of the specific legislation of the Stamp Act that the colonial 
mind was jarred from its traditional acceptance of the "Old 
Colonial System" into consideration of exactly what the empire 
relations were. 

The colonies as a whole in 1765 were experiencing a period of 
postwar readjustment. Prosperity had followed the English 
troops out of America. Complaints against the high cost of living 
and English manufactured goods were coupled with complaints 
of the decline in real estate values and the ratio of paper money 
to gold. 49 The postponement of the Stamp Act for the year's dis- 
cussion meant that its application caught the colonies in a 
depressed condition. North Carolina, notoriously poor from the 

46 F. J . Hinkhouse, The Preliminaries of the American Revolution as Seen in the English 
Press (New York, 1926). 

47 Beer, British Colonial Policy, 175U-1765, 286. 

48 William MacDonald, Documentary Source Book of American History (New York, 1909), 
122 et s«q. 

49 Miller, Origins of the American Revolution, 115 et seq. 

328 The North Carolina Historical Review 

beginning of its history, had been plagued by the absence of a 
substantial circulating medium of exchange. Colonists, agents, 
British merchants, governors, and pamphleteers had urged the 
British government to remedy the condition of North Carolina's 
currency. In McCulloh's pamphlet urging the Stamp Act he em- 
phasized the necessity of including currency reforms. 50 As early 
as 1757 McCulloh had proposed that "Exchequer Bill of Union" 
be introduced into America. 51 Each of North Carolina's gov- 
ernors had expressed the need for more and better currency and 
each had been forced to accept unstable paper money. The Cur- 
rency Act of 1764 had stopped the use of paper money and com- 
modity money as legal tender. Throughout the legislative session 
of 1765 the Assembly tried to pass laws making certain com- 
modities legal payment for debts in spite of the provisions of the 
Currency Act. Their attempts were unsuccessful. 52 Although the 
stamp tax represented only one shilling per person increase in 
taxes, North Carolinians in 1765 could not have paid the tax in 
specie. In the words of Governor Tryon, "There is little or no 
specie circulating in the maritime counties of the province, and 
what is in circulation in the back counties is so very inconsider- 
able that the Attorney General assured me, that the Stamp duties 
on the instruments used in the five Superior Courts of this 
province would in one year require all the specie in the coun- 
try . . . ," to say nothing of the demands of the other courts and 
business. 53 

The English considered the terms of the duty light and refused 
to believe that the colonists could not comply with the act. 
"Pepper-corn" was a favorite expression in describing the re- 
turns by the members of Parliament. 54 The London Magazine 
and the London Chronicle pointed to the wide difference between 
the English and American taxes and especially to the fact that 
England paid twelve shillings per person for interest on the debt, 
which was largely America's responsibility. 55 The difference 
between the money economy of mercantile England and the semi- 
barter economy of rural North Carolina placed a barrier between 
the two countries that prevented mutual understanding. 

50 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations, 12. 

51 McCulloh, Miscellaneous Representations, xiii. 

52 Colonial Records, VII, 51, 58, 65, 75, 82. 

63 William Tryon, Tryon 's Letter Book (copy of the original in the North Carolina Depart- 
ment of Archives and History, Raleigh), 25. 

M Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 96 passim. 

55 Hinkhouse, Preliminaries of the American Revolution, 50. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 329 

But in spite of the sorry economic picture it was not on the 
basis of practical economics that the Stamp Act was opposed in 
North Carolina. Of much more importance in the conflict was the 
divergent constitutional philosophy of the two units of the same 
government. When a North Carolinian spoke of "The Constitu- 
tion" he was not referring to the same institution that England 
and Grenville knew. The Americans had in mind a fixed consti- 
tution which was over and above all other governmental institu- 
tions, including Parliament. Grenville saw no power above the 
sovereignty of Parliament. The discerning Josiah Tucker sum- 
med up the philosophical conflict in the Universal Magazine in 
1775, "The Colonists reason principally from what they appre- 
hend ought originally to be the case, — to what in the future shall 
or must be : — and the mother country from what actually was, — 
to what still ought to be." 56 

As the attention of the colonists became focused on the con- 
stitutional aspect of the struggle they became convinced that the 
British constitution, their own charter, custom, and tradition 
guaranteed self-government while geography, economic well- 
being, and political integrity demanded it. Maurice Moore in his 
1765 pamphlet, "Justice and policy of Taxing the American 
Colonies in England," stated that what was needed was a union 
"upon a foundation of equality" and quoted Cato's letter to the 
effect that "human nature" demanded self-rule. 57 "Moore's ideas 
represent the thought of the controlling politicians of North 
Carolina. As a wealthy plantation owner he was basically con- 
servative, certainly not given to any radical democratic agita- 
tion (later he joined in crushing the Regulator movement) , but 
he was determined to leave control of North Carolina in the 
hands of the Assembly. 

Moore's pamphlet, which is the most complete expression of 
North Carolina political thought of the Stamp Act period, de- 
velops the concept of "no taxation without representation" as 
the principal constitutional argument against the act. In this 
he was merely elaborating upon the expression of the Assembly 
in 1764. He reaffirmed the idea that the colonists enjoyed all 
the "constitutional right, liberty, and privilege" of an English- 

56 Hinkhouse, Preliminaries of the American Revolution, 81. 

57 William K. Boyd, Some Eighteenth Century Tracts Concerning North Carolina (Raleigh, 
1927), 173 et seq. 

330 The North Carolina Historical Review 

man including the right of taxation only by one's own repre- 
sentatives. He scoffed at the idea that North Carolina was 
virtually represented, since it was divided by "a thousand leagues 
from Great-Britain" and could have no influence on British 
legislation. Furthermore, he argued that the idea of virtual 
representation had had its origin since North Carolina's charter 
had been granted. The English Parliament could not be obeyed 
because the charter had given them sovereign and complete legis- 
lative power over their own affairs, and no people could be 
governed by two sovereign legislatures. 58 

Moore completely repudiated the English doctrine of Parlia- 
mentary supremacy. Grenville, as spokesman for the English 
concept, answered all such arguments as directly as possible. 
"That this kingdom has the sovereign, the supreme legislative 
power over America is granted . . . and taxation is part of that 
power," was his direct unequivocal statement. 59 There were few 
in England who would not have endorsed that statement com- 
pletely. Without compromise on this basic constitutional rela- 
tionship there could be only conflict between mother and 

Coupled with the problem of sovereignty and giving the 
colonial opposition vigor was the tenacity with which the North 
Carolina plantation aristocracy held to their control of the 
Assembly. The "Cape" and "Sound" factions had gradually 
drawn together in opposition to the growing West. With control 
apparently firmly fixed in their hands, the planters were enjoy- 
ing the fruits of cooperation in the form of taxation by head and 
administration by eastern officials. The Stamp Act represented a 
threat to this control. On at least one point England and her 
colonies understood each other. Both realized that if any part of 
the act was accepted the precedent would be established for 
further taxation, regulation and control. A North Carolina dele- 
gation expressed the idea to Governor Tryon in refusing to 
". . . assent to the payment of the smaller Stamp : An Admission 
of Part, would put it out of our Power to refuse with any Pro- 
priety, a Submission to the Whole. . . ." 60 George III expressed 
the same idea when he asked for modification of the act in hopes 

58 Boyd, Some Eighteenth Century Tracts, 165 et seq. 
50 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 101. 
eo Colonial Records, VII, 129. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 331 

that it would placate the colonists, ". * . any part remaining suf- 
ficiently ascertained the Right of the Mother Country to tax its 
Colonys " 61 

Grenville realized it would be necessary to gain control over 
taxation if England was to have any control over colonial gov- 
ernment. Political domination of the colonies, like the stamp 
tax, was not exclusively a Grenville policy, but was the under- 
lying goal of English policy from the close of the French and 
Indian War to the Revolution. The king's speech of January 10, 
1765, just before the passage of the Stamp Act, emphasized the 
desire for ". . . promoting the obedience to laws, and respect to 
the legislative authority." In the king's speech closing Parlia- 
ment after the passage of the act he thanked the members of 
Parliament for "framing such regulations." 62 Grenville in his 
speeches defending the stamp tax constantly referred to the 
colonial obligation to obey Parliament. 63 To escape this obligation 
North Carolina's plantation aristocrats led the opposition against 
English taxation and control — control that would have affected 
the large landowners more than any other class, since all other 
classes were already obeying a government not of their direct 

Just how early and from what sources the opposition to the 
Stamp Act began is difficult to determine. Certainly by the latter 
part of June, 1765, North Carolinians were discussing at length 
the reported action of the northern assemblies in resisting the 
stamp tax. 64 Both the governors of North and South Carolina 
later insisted that the southern colonies were only following the 
lead of the more "northward provinces." 65 James Murray, who 
had recently moved from North Carolina to Boston, did not agree 
with the Carolina governors as he considered the southern 
colonies more aggressive in their attitude than the northern 
colonies. 66 

There were reported minor public demonstrations in the sum- 
mer of 1765 at Cross-Creek, New Bern, and Edenton. 67 On Oc- 

61 John William Fortescue, The Correspondence of King George the Third (London, 1927), 

62 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 2, 80 et seq. 

63 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 102. 

64 North Carolina Items from the South Carolina Gazette (typed copy in the North Caro- 
lina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh), III, 119. 

5 Tryon's Letter Book, 25, 34. Arthur Meier Schlesinger, "The Colonial Merchants and 
the American Revolution," Columbia University Studies in History, Economics and Public 
Law (1918), LXXVIII, 73. 

66 James Murray, Letters of James Murray, Loyalist (Boston, 1901), 115. 

67 R. D. W. Connor, History of North Carolina (Chicago, 1919), I, 321. 

332 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tober 19, 1765, the citizens of Wilmington, in town for a 
Saturday evening, staged a spontaneous, boisterous, and some- 
what fluid demonstration, complete with effigies of the Stamp 
Agent Houston, tar barrel bonfires, and frequent and enthusi- 
astic toasts. 68 This was apparently the only spontaneous action 
in North Carolina. One of the most distinctive aspects of the 
American Revolution is the absence of anarchy and mob rule. 
The English policy of leaving the colonies more or less alone had 
produced a desire among the colonists for an increasing role in 
their own government. But the period of neglect also produced a 
number of men who could lead and organize the people. 

Apparently the Wilmington Saturday affair had been so well 
received that it was decided to incorporate the Stamp Act theme 
into the Halloween festivities of the same month. In a setting 
true to Allhallows' Evening customs of bonfires and resurrected 

... a great Number of People again assembled, and produced an 
Effigy of Liberty, which they put in a Coffin, and marched in 
solemn Procession with it to the Church-Yard, a Drum in Mourn- 
ing beating before them, and the Town Bell, muffled, ringing a 
doleful Knell at the same Time : — But before they committed the 
Body to the Ground, they thought it advisable to feel its Pulse ; 
and when finding some Remain of Life, they returned back to a 
Bonfire ready prepared, placed the Effigy before it in a large 
Two-arm'd Chair, and concluded the Evening with great Re- 
joicings on finding that Liberty had still an Existence in the 

Two weeks later Dr. Houston, the colonial stamp agent, found 
it necessary to come to town on a Saturday, a most unfortunate 
choice of days. The usual Saturday crowd, looking for diversion, 
soon found it in the good doctor. He was immediately sur- 
rounded by three or four hundred people who forced him to 
resign his commission. Then after ". . . Several Sorts of Liquor, 
were . . . drank in great Form and all the favorite American 
Toasts . . . ," the crowd pushed (or staggered) on to the print 
shop. After appropriate threats Andrew Steuart was forced 
to print the famous death's head paper without stamps. 70 Up 
to this point leadership had been nebulous and the whole affair 

a 8 Colonial Records, VII, 123. 
w Colonial Records, VII, 124. 
70 Colonial Records, VII, 124 et seq. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 333 

carried off in spirit of frivolous holiday diversion and not based 
on any formalized theory of opposition. But beneath the antics 
of the people there was real and, to Tryon's way of thinking, 
dangerous opposition to royal authority. 

Governor Tryon represents the major source of royalist 
strength in North Carolina. Probably no colonial governor 
worked more for or understood better the people of North 
Carolina. Although he was vain and given to ostentatious dis- 
play he was an astute, diplomatic politician. Before he left the 
governorship he won the respect of the planter class, the Indians, 
Anglicans, Presbyterians, Moravians, Germans, and the Council 
and Assembly. The Anglican minister, George Micklejohn, spoke 
of him as ". . . defender and friend, the Patron and nursing 
father of the Church." 71 He won the Presbyterian gratitude 
by securing for them the right of their ministers to perform 
marriages. 72 In his visit to Bethabara, he and Mrs. Tryon had 
apparently captivated the Moravians with their charm, interest 
and good will. 73 The Cherokee renamed him with respectful 
dignity the Great Wolf. But probably the best criteria of his 
success is the fact that he received all the appropriations he 
asked for and left the colony with his salary paid in full. Tryon 
was justly respected and he exerted all the pressure he felt 
justifiable to secure colonial rights. He did not favor the Stamp 
Act and wrote the Board of Trade that he believed it impractical 
and destined to fail. 74 But in spite of this feeling, Tryon, the 
soldier, was also committed to execute the orders given him 
by the British Government. Governor Tryon is the perfect il- 
lustration of the conscientious colonial governor caught between 
loyalty to the crown and to the people under his commission. 

As the public demonstrations began to develop into directed 
projects Tryon tried to gain the cooperation of the political 
leaders. Early in November Tryon called some fifty of the most 
prominent men of Brunswick, New Hanover, and Bladen coun- 
ties to a conciliatory banquet. In an address to these men he 
sympathized with the colonial position, expressed the idea that 
the act was unworkable, and offered to use his considerable in- 

71 Colonial Records, VII, 520. 

72 M. DeLancey Haywood, Governor William Tryon (Raleigh, 1903), 18. 

73 John Henry Clewell, History of Wachovia in North Carolina (New York, 1902), 98 
et seq. 

74 Tryon's Letter Book, 25. 

334 The North Carolina Historical Review 

fluence in their behalf with the home government. Meantime, 
since the laws must be obeyed, he personally offered to grant 
free liquor licenses to a number of towns. 75 Perhaps because 
the early acts of opposition were liberally spiked with a variety 
of potent beverages Tryon thought he could bribe the citizenery 
by playing up to their thirst. But colonial thinking had gone 
beyond the stage where it could be swayed by any but the most 
basic concessions. The constitutional implications of the issue 
were becoming clarified and Tryon's offer was summarily re- 
jected on the ground that to submit to part of the act would 
place the colonists under the obligation of submitting to the 
constitutional principle of English taxation which implied 
English domination of internal colonial affairs. 

By rejecting Tryon's offer the leaders had committed them- 
selves to resistance. The first test came when the sloop Diligence 
with the stamps aboard anchored at Brunswick. Hugh Waddell, 
the local hero of the French and Indian War, and John Ashe, 
the leading local orator, led an armed body of men which 
prevented the landing of the stamps. Tryon saw fit to ignore 
reporting this treason to England and continued his efforts to 
get the act repealed. Although he might conceal from England 
the armed resistance to law, he was determined to see that the 
laws were obeyed as nearly as possible. With the assistance of 
the judges he prevented all the legal business from being con- 
ducted in the courts. 76 Captain Phipps of the Diligence com- 
pleted the picture of business stagnation by placing restrictions 
on shipping on the Cape Fear River. Ministers complained be- 
cause their salaries, letters, and building program were held 
up. 77 Marriages, law suits, debt collection, binding contracts, 
and franchises were delayed indefinitely. The high spirit in 
which opposition had begun changed to depression and antag- 
onism. Rev. Reed spoke of the people as being ". . . very uneasy, 
discontented and dejected." 78 Andrew Steuart wrote of the 
threats to horsewhip him if he did not print a certain letter. 
He then proceeded to print an inflammatory letter calling on the 
people to "Rouze" and resist with arms the confiscation of 
property. 79 

™ Colonial Records, VII, 127. 

76 Tryon's Letter Book, 25 et seq. 

77 Colonial Record, VII, 135, 154, 162. 

78 Colonial Records, VII, 154. 
70 Colonial Records, VII, 168. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 335 

In this charged atmosphere rumor began circulating indi- 
cating that Cape Fear was "the only spot on the continent" in 
which the Stamp Act was enforced. 80 It was certainly more 
than a rumor that all trade on the Cape Fear had stopped. The 
Diligence had been joined by another sloop, the Viper, and these 
two ships were rigidly enforcing the customs and stamp regu- 
lations. Three ships were seized for violation of navigation 
laws by the end of January 81 and in January and February 
three more vessels were seized for violating the Stamp Act. 82 
Reports arriving from the north indicated that no relief could 
be expected from England. Tryon had prorogued the assembly 
so that there was no legal means of redressing grievances. The 
last hope of legal assistance died when the attorney general 
backed the action of the British naval officers and Tryon, in- 
cluding the right to have cases of seizures tried in the Halifax, 
Nova Scotia, Admiralty Court. To the North Carolinian, dis- 
turbed by rumor of discrimination while other colonies were 
reaping a harvest of trade, confronted by the real and arbitrary 
royal restrictions, and balked at every attempt to secure legal 
redress, it was only natural that in seeking relief his mind 
should turn to illegal methods. 

Almost immediately on learning of the Attorney General's 
action the citizens of Wilmington organized an association for 
the purpose of "preventing entirely the Operation of the Stamp 
Act," the preservation of property, and opening the Carolina 
ports. Officers were chosen and the day after the association 
was organized (February 19), an oath was taken to resist the 
stamp tax to death, and an armed company of over a thousand 
men marched on Brunswick. The next morning a delegation from 
the association held a conference with the ship captains and 
custom officials. A promise was gained from the officials for 
the return of the three captured ships and a temporary opening 
of the ports. Apparently this would have satisfied the more 
conservative leaders, but it did not give complete satisfaction 
to the rest of the association, who were not in a compromising 
mood. So the whole company remained another day in order 
to extract a promise from the officials that they would never 

80 Colonial Records, VII, 168a et seq. 

81 Colonial Records, VII, 159. 

82 Colanial Records, VII, 168e. 

336 The North Carolina Historical Review 

try to enforce the Stamp Act. 83 Once again all the officials, with 
the exception of Pennington, yielded without resistance. Penn- 
ington, the comptroller of Brunswick, had sought the protection 
of the governor's house the night before. Early the next morning 
Tryon saw Pennington and George Moore, one of the association 
officers, leaving his house. The governor called them back and 
refused to let the comptroller leave. The house was immediately 
surrounded, notes were exchanged, and finally Cornelius Harnett 
and George Moore came as a delegation to demand that Penn- 
ington be turned over to them. Connor calls the intense struggle 
that followed between Harnett and Tryon the most dramatic 
in the Stamp Act struggle. 84 Both were men of considerable 
force and they bandied the disposition of the polished Mr. 
Pennington about as if he were not there. Pennington even- 
tually decided that the future was less uncertain in the hands 
of Harnett and his armed supporters and offered to leave with 
him. This weakness so infuriated Tryon that he made him resign 
his office before leaving the building. 85 

Tryon was determined to do what he could to uphold the law. 
In the evening he visited Capt. Lobb of the Viper and repri- 
manded him for giving in to the "armed inhabitants." He con- 
tinued down to Fort Johnson, where he had the cannon put 
into condition and the fort made ready for attack, all this in 
spite of the fact that the fort was manned by only one sick 
officer and two men. 86 Tryon was determined "to repel Force 
with Force." 87 Although once calmed down after the humiliation 
by Harnett he realized it was physically impossible to enforce 
the issue in his present circumstance, the idea did not leave his 
mind. Throughout March and April of the next year he was 
advising the Board of Trade on sending troops. 88 

The colonists had gained their objective. The three impounded 
ships were restored, the ports were opened, and the stamps 
were not used. There was no reason for further disturbance. 
With the single exception of tolerating commerce to enter with- 
out stamps Tryon maintained the letter of the laws. Pennington 
was reinstated and the customs office was in operation as far 

83 Colonial Records, VII, 168d. 

84 Connor, History of North Carolina, I, 326. 

85 Colonial Records, VII, 172. 
89 Colonial Records, VII, 173. 

87 Colonial Records, VII, 179. 

88 Colonial Records, VII, 189, 202. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 337 

as the old laws were concerned. 89 The courts refused to treat 
civil and criminal cases. 90 The controversy had reached a stale- 
mate in North Carolina and both sides were willing to await 
the decision of the British Parliament. Although the colonists 
had spurned previous compromise on immediate issues the spirit 
of opposition had not progressed to the point where they had 
lost faith in the ultimate justice of the English government. 

The colonial mind placed its values on immediate concrete 
objectives. As in the case of taxation, once an issue developed 
involving other than immediate consequences the colonial passion 
cooled. The North Carolinian could go to the extreme of treason 
to gain the opening of the Cape Fear River, but he could not 
justify the use of illegal means in electing representatives to 
the Stamp Act Congress held outside his own state. Since Tryon 
had prorogued the Assembly, no formal legal action was possible. 
There was a desire on the part of many to attend, but it remained 
a desire and not a conviction. However, the only colonial criti- 
cism that Tryon received for his activities in the Stamp Act 
struggle came because he had prevented the meeting of the 
Assembly and consequently the cooperation of North Carolina 
with the other colonies in the Stamp Act Congress. 91 

The mayor and corporation of Wilmington who had rebuked 
Tryon for his action need not have lamented too bitterly their 
inability to join the Stamp Act Congress protest. It was not 
consideration of colonial petitions and rights that moved Par- 
liament to repeal the Stamp Act. The movement for repeal was 
led by Englishmen for considerations that affected Englishmen. 
Of the many factors influencing the action of Parliament two 
are paramount: English party politics and the agitation of the 
English commercial interests. 

The decline of American commerce was the most important 
factor coming from this side of the Atlantic. North Carolinians 
were pursuing a more effective course before they forced from 
the royal officials the concessions that opened the Cape Fear 
than they were afterwards. Much more effective than petitions 
were items appearing in the London papers, such as that under 
the date line of Wilmington describing the complete absence of 

so Colonial Records, VII, 189. 

90 Colonial Records, VII, 199, 201. 

91 Colonial Records, VII, 347 et seq. 

338 The North Carolina Historical Review 

trade there and the ruin of the tar and turpentine industry. 92 
For while the colonists were waiting with what Thompson called 
"patience and temper, tho with much anxiety and distress of 
mind," the English merchants and laborers were equally 
agitated. 93 In September the papers of England began reporting 
numerous petitions ". . . all complaining of the great decay in 
trade to the North American colonies, owing to the late obstruc- 
tions and embarrassments laid thereon, and praying for relief." 94 
There was a real fear of loss of trade, not only temporarily but 
permanently. Franklin played on this emotion in his propaganda 
articles in the English press and for once there apparently was 
some truth to his stories. The South Carolina Gazette carried a 
story that South Carolina was copying the North Carolina 
policy of establishing looms to escape purchasing English 
cloth. 95 Petitions from the manufacturing towns and boroughs 
poured into Parliament expressing the fear of loss of both raw 
materials and markets. 96 Although the point was played down 
in Parliamentary debate there were voiced fears of such losses 
and the influence of the mercantile interest on the question was 
fully realized in England at the time. 97 

The party aspect of repeal revolved around the attempt of 
the Pitt faction to discredit the government and specifically to 
restrict the influence of the king. To gain public support Pitt 
championed the repeal of the Stamp Act and, assisted by Judge 
Pratt (Lord Camden), fought the issue on the basis of con- 
stitutional principles. 98 This explains the reason for the high 
theoretical level at which the debates were carried on — debates 
which were echoed in the colonies and influenced the philosophi- 
cal tone of the colonial arguments. 

Contrary to the North Carolina position, it was not theoretical 
considerations that were of paramount importance in English 
thinking, for in the end it was not constitutional arguments 
that prevailed but rather the practical idea of expediency. The 
group that secured the repeal was the one that believed Parlia- 

02 D. L. Coi-bitt, "Historical Notes," The North Carolina Historical Review, II (July, 1925), 

93 "Thomson Papers, 1765-1816," Collections of the New-York Historical Society (1878), 
XI, 15. 

04 Hinkhouse, Preliminaries of the American Revolution, 64. 

05 North Carolina Items from the South Carolina Gazette, III, 132. 
™ The Annual Register (London, 1803), IX, 35. 

97 The Annual Register, IX, 36; Hinkhouse, Preliminaries of the American Revolution, 78 
et seq.; Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 110. 

C8 A. V. Ruville, William Pitt, Earl of Chatham (London, 1907), III, 162. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 339 

ment had the right to tax the colonies but felt it inexpedient 
because "the duty was not adapted to colonial conditions" and 
was "ruinous to British trade/' 99 The members might not be- 
lieve in colonial poverty or they might reject the colonial concept 
of the constitution or Pitt's theories of taxation, but no one 
could deny that commerce had been adversely affected. The 
repeal had not been an unconditional surrender. For the repeal 
had been linked with a Declaratory Act giving Parliament ". . . 
full power & Authority to make Laws & Statutes ... in all 
Cases Whatsoever." 100 

North Carolina chose to ignore the Declaratory Act but was 
somewhat less enthusiastic than the other colonies that were 
caught by the upsurge of patriotism that swept the country. 
Formal expressions of thanks and loyalty were sent from the 
mayor and corporation of Wilmington and from the Assembly. 101 
The colony did not erect a lead statue of George III, as Massa- 
chusetts did, to be melted down later for bullets, but it did, 
according to Williamson, finance the £15,000 Tryon Palace as 
an act of gratitude. 102 Certainly there was no standing antago- 
nism between Governor Tryon and those who had participated 
in the opposition. As early as May 6, 1766, the governor had 
recommended Colonel Thomas Lloyd, one of the leaders of the 
Brunswick opposition, to a seat in the Council. 103 During the 
Regulators' War he appointed to the ranking military position 
every recorded leader of the Stamp Act opposition. Even though 
good feeling did develop, neither the governor nor the opposition 
retracted one statement or action made during the crisis or 
changed their political conviction in any point. Of all the op- 
ponents of the governor during this time only one apologized 
to him for the insults to his person. 104 The Corporation of Wil- 
mington was quick to defend its position when Tryon under- 
took to administer a polite reprimand for its part in the affair. 
Tryon wisely dropped the matter before it developed into an 
acrimonious quarrel. 105 

Actually the repeal of the Stamp Act had settled nothing. 
There was no compromise on the basic issue of sovereignty and 

99 Cobbett, Parliamentary History, XVI, 194. 

100 Fortescue, The Correspondence of King George the Third, 262. 

101 Colonial Records, VII, 223, 298. 

102 Hugh Williamson, The History of North Carolina (Philadelphia, 1812), 123. 

103 Colonial Records, VII, 206. 

104 Colonial Records, VII, 206. 

105 Colonial Records, VII, 222-223, 242-243, 

340 The North Carolina Historical Review 

there were no governmental reforms. 106 Charles Lee had pre- 
dicted correctly in 1767 that the affection and loyalty in the 
colonies would exist only so long as England made no attempt 
to tax the colonies. 107 But the Stamp Act struggle did more 
than strengthen the old resolution to resist taxation. Opposition 
to the duty had begun on an independent basis in the colonies, 
but the organization of the Sons of Liberty which spread to 
nearly all the colonies and apparently flourished in North 
Carolina, the exchange of resolutions, proclamations, and cor- 
respondence, and the meeting of the Stamp Act Congress had 
developed a strong sentiment for united action. North Carolina 
had not participated in the Stamp Act Congress, but there was 
growing regret that she had not. In the future she would tend 
to associate her interests with those of her sister colonies. 
Schlesinger considered the chief importance of the Stamp Act 
to be the ". . . common ground on which the planting provinces 
might join with the commercial provinces in protest." 108 

Lee was not alone in predicting future opposition. The report 
of the customs officials of North Carolina in November, 1769, 
emphasized the fact that ". . . it becomes popular to resist & 
oppose such [revenue] laws and hence [those] whose Duty it 
is to execute them incur the odium & resentment of the people 
. . . and every attempt to regulate Trade or raise a Revenue 
in the Plantation will only afford matter of opposition. . . ," 109 
The prophecy was borne out with the passage of the Townshend 
Duties. Church officials also noted the rebellious spirit among 
the people. Since rebellion had proven useful and successful 
techniques of opposition had been developed, it was only natural, 
to a practical-minded people, that they should put these new 
ideas and tools into operation to meet other problems. Andrew 
Morton, writing to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel 
in August, 1766, described "a solemn league and covenant" that 
was drawn up in Mecklenburg to oppose the establishment of 
the Anglican Church which the citizens considered ". . . as 
oppressive as the Stamp Act and were determined to prevent 

108 There was created in England in 1768 an "American Department," but it was not 
created because of the colonial opposition but only as a political maneuver and it did not 
change the nature or source of colonial policies. See M. W. Spector, The American Depart- 
ment of the British Government (New York, 1940). 

107 Charles Lee, "The Lee Papers," Collections of the New-York Historical Society (1871), 
I, 59. 

108 Schlesinger, "The Colonial Merchants and the American Revolution," 65. 
io» pro, Treasury Board Letters, Bundle 474, fo. 454. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 341 

its taking place, there by opposing the settlement of any min- 
ister. . . ." no This was a practical application on a local scale 
of the lessons and techniques learned during the Stamp Act 
struggle. The same sort of application on a wider scale led the 
Regulators into a colonial civil war. Just how much the eastern 
activities had molded the thinking of the back country can be 
seen in the Regulators' advertisement of August, 1766. 

Whereas that great good may come of this great designed Evil 
the Stamp Law while the sons of Liberty withstood the Lords 
in Parliament in behalf of true Liberty let not Officers under 
them carry on unjust Oppression in our own Province ... it 
is our Duty as well as right to see & examine where such rulers 
abuse such trust. . . . 

Let each Neighborhood throughout the country meet together 
and appoint one or more men to attend a general meeting on 
Monday . . . while men are men though you should see all 
those Sons of Liberty (who has just now redeemed us from 
tyranny) set in Office and vested with power they would soon 
corrupt again and oppress if they were not called upon to give 
an account of their Stewardship. 111 

The concept of the right and duty of redressing grievances 
by other than legal means, the doctrine of local self-rule, and 
the method of opposition through local associations were bor- 
rowed from the Stamp Act opponents. Certain of their grievances 
arose from or were colored by the earlier opposition. The four 
major grievances of the Regulators were excessive taxes, dis- 
honest officials, and extortionate fees which went unredressed 
because of the system of centralized office-holding. 112 The defeat 
of the attempt by Grenville to change colonial relationship with 
England left North Carolina's government in the hands of a 
few eastern planters. Thus there would be no change in colonial 
officials or taxation. The building of Tryon's Palace, if we accept 
Williamson's point of view, arose from the Stamp Act crisis 
and the burden of payment rested on the poll tax system which 
was so odious to the West. As for the excessive fees, there had 
been complaints on this score before any active opposition to 
the Stamp Act had developed. 113 But from November 1, 1765, 
to July, 1766, no business had been transacted by the courts. 

110 Colonial Records, VII, 252 et seq. 

111 Lee, "The Lee Papers," I, 249-250. 

112 Connor, History of North Carolina, 303. 

113 See the Nutbush Address, Colonial Records, VII, 89-90. 

342 The North Carolina Historical Review 

As a result a great backlog of legal business accumulated in the 
courts. At the Halifax (North Carolina) Superior Court alone 
the docket in April contained nearly one thousand civil cases. 114 
When the courts were opened in July a flood of fees, fines and 
judgments overwhelmed the people, making the ordinary evils 
seem a hundred times more vicious. 

When the Regulators saw the futility of attempting legal 
methods of redressing grievances they attempted local associa- 
tions to give more strength to their demands. The eastern 
politicians were quick to grasp the danger of their political 
position in the colony and to their theoretical arguments abroad. 
The Regulators' opposition to colonial-enacted laws certainly 
refuted the repeated statement made by the Americans that 
the colonists would willingly contribute to any taxation if it 
were levied by their own legislature. 

The struggle in the early 1770's when compared to that of 
1766 varies only in degree, between lower units of government, 
and not in basic issues of reasoning on the part of those in- 
volved. The demand for political control of the back country, 
no taxation unless by their own representatives, and opposition 
to foreign (in this case eastern) courts and officials correspond 
to similar motives on the part of the eastern planters in the 
earlier dispute. The essence of the Regulator movement was a 
demand for equality of political privilege and participation which 
in turn meant local or self-control. The Stamp Act opponents 
in 1766 did not want a change of government, nor did the 
Regulators want more than a correction of the evils that existed 
in provincial government. 115 

In its total effect the Stamp Act struggle in North Carolina 
contributed to the ideas, grievances, and methods of the intra- 
colonial civil war, created a strong feeling for colonial inde- 
pendence and intercolonial cooperation, and helped formulate 
the basic philosophy of the struggle that led to the American 
Revolution. But the primary importance of the Stamp Act 
resistance was to release the mind of the North Carolinians 
from the unthinking acceptance of the "Old Colonial System" 
by focusing their attention on the fundamental nature of the 

114 Colonial Records, VII, 199 et seq.; 248. 

115 Elmer D. Johnson, The War of the Regulators (unpublished master's thesis, University of 
North Carolina, 1942), 145. 

North Carolina Opponents of the Stamp Act 343 

system and a consideration of what that system ought to be. 
The result of their studied consideration was a demand for 
local control of North Carolina with equal status with every 
other unit of the Empire. This was diametrically opposed to 
the English theory of colonial inferiority and dependence and 
represented a basic difference in constitutional theory which 
was not to be reconciled. The colonists would accept nothing 
less, and England would grant nothing more than she had 
granted. Since the success of the opposition in 1766 had turned 
the colonial mind from compromise and England came to be 
convinced of the folly of appeasement, only complete independ- 
ence or complete dependence could settle the issue. 


By Donald J. Rulfs 

Although we are told that the first State House in Raleigh, 
completed in November, 1794, was frequently used for "theatri- 
cal representations" and "sleight of hand performances," 1 the 
earliest newspaper notice of professional entertainment was an 
advertisement in the Raleigh Register and North Carolina 
Gazette for December 19, 1803, to the effect that Davenport 
and Street's Wax Figures would be on exhibit at the court- 
house beginning on December 26 and remaining through 
January 2. A partial list of figures in the exhibit included 
General Washington and his Lady, the Honorable John Adams, 
His Excellency Thomas Jefferson, and General Bonaparte. There 
were no further professional attractions until 1806 when Mr. 
Rannie, a ventriloquist, advertised in the Register from August 
18 through September 1 that he would soon visit the principal 
towns in North Carolina, but he gave no specific dates for his 
appearance in Raleigh. On November 26 of the same year, 
Gross and Ollendorff Museum of Wax Figures gave notice 
in the Register that the exhibition had already opened opposite 
the courthouse and would leave town on November 26. There- 
after, professional entertainment was not offered until after 
the opening of the theater. 

The first theater in Raleigh was on the lower floor of a 
wooden building erected in 1814 on the northeast corner of 
Morgan and Dawson streets by the Grand Lodge of North 
Carolina Masons and, the Raleigh Lodge, Hiram No. 40, both 
of which shared a lodge room on the upper floor. The lot was 
donated by Theophilus Hunter, who also contributed one hundred 
dollars to the building fund. 2 On Friday, January 13, 1815, the 
Star and North Carolina Gazette (Raleigh) announced that 
the new theater, "the pride and ornament of our city," was 
nearly completed and would be opened during the next week. 

1 David L. Swain, Early Times in Raleigh (Raleigh: Waltei-s, Hughes, and Co., 1867) 7. 

2 John Nichols, History of Hiram Lodge no. U0, Raleigh, N. C. [?] from 1800 to 1900 In- 
clusive (Raleigh [?], 1900 [?]), 15-16. 

[ 344 1 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 345 

The writer for the Star, who signed himself "Dramaticus," 
stated that ". . . the most competent judges have pronounced 
both the model and execution of the building, to be superior 
to that of any theatre of its dimensions in America," 3 and 
Alexander Lucas, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge, 4 was 
designated as manager and architect. At the annual meeting of 
the Grand Lodge in Raleigh during the late fall of 1817, Lucas, 
in reporting on the finishing touches that were being made to 
the building, stated that it had recently received two coats of 
paint on the outside and that the staircase was being improved. 
He added that "It was considered that the shutters would be an 
equal benefit to the Theatre and the Lodge, and it was agreed 
on the part of the proprietors of the Theatre, that they would 
sustain one-half the expense of the shutters." 5 

The first performance in the new theater was offered by the 
Raleigh Thespian Society, which had been organized at an 
uncertain date in the early 1800's and which had been offering 
amateur productions in the Raleigh Academy Building, com- 
pleted in January, 1804, 6 and located on Burke Square, present 
site of the Governor's Mansion. 7 Apparently there was a delay 
in the opening of the theater because the only newspaper notice 
after the initial account in the Star for January 13 was an 
advertisement in the Register for January 27 to the effect that 
the plays for that evening would be Thomas Morton's Secrets 
Worth Knowing, or the Young Architect, and, in accordance 
with a long established custom in the English and American 
theater, an afterpiece in the form of the anonymous farce The 
Bee Hive, or Industry Must Prosper. During the remainder of 
the year productions were advertised by the Thespians for 
April 24, May 15, and November 10. This capable amateur 
group had been incorporated by an act of the General Assembly 
in 1814. 8 

The Masonic Lodge seems to have sold the theater to the 
Thespians. From September 21 through November 16, 1821, the 

3 Review quoted in full by Archibald Henderson, North Carolina, the Old North State and 
the New (Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1941), II, 662-663. 

4 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina and Tennessee from A. L. 5804, A. D. 
1804, to A. L. 5840, A. D. 1840 (Oxford, N. C: Orphan Asylum Press, 1909), Proceed- 
ings 1814-1819, passim. 

5 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1817, 9-10. 

6 Henderson, North Carolina, II, 660. 

7 Swain, Early Times in Raleigh, "Map of Raleigh for 1834," opposite p. 24. 

8 Henderson, North Carolina, II, 662. 

346 The North Carolina Historical Review 

theater was advertised in the Register for rent, and the notice 
stated that letters of inquiry were to be addressed to the presi- 
dent of the Thespian Society. Eight years later the Grand Lodge 
appointed a committee on December 18, 1829, to investigate the 
possibility of acquiring the theater, but the group reported on 
December 23 that it would be "inexpedient to purchase at 
present/' 9 Two years later the matter was still pressing, and 
at a meeting on December 7, 1831, R. Haywood introduced the 
following resolution: 

That whereas the Grand Lodge has been frequently incom- 
moded by players, jugglers, and others, who have rented the 
theatre attached to the Grand Lodge ; and whereas the safety of 
the Grand Lodge is endangered thereby; and whereas it is 
understood that said theatre will be sold in a short time at public 
sale, under and by virtue of a deed in trust: be it therefore 

Resolved, That a committee of three persons be appointed to 
purchase said theatre, provided it does not sell for more than 
dollars : . . ,"» 

The committee found that the theater was for sale for $246.59 
by the Bank of New Bern, which apparently held a mortgage 
on the Thespians' property, and on December 31 a committee 
of four was voted permission to make the purchase. That the 
theater was still owned by the Lodge four years later is evi- 
denced by the following letter which was submitted by Henry W. 
Preston, manager of a traveling company, and which was read 
at a meeting on December 15, 1835: 

To the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of North Carolina: 

The undersigned respectfully showeth : That he has rented the 
Theatre belonging to your body, for which he pays $20 per 
week : That he has gone to considerable expense in painting and 
repairing the front of said building: That he finds the Scenery 
in miserable order, and much in want of repainting and repair- 
ing ; the cost of which he estimates at $50 or $60. He prays that 
he may be allowed to repair said Scenery, and that your body 
will allow him the use of said building a fortnight as Compen- 
sation therefor. 

December 12, 1835 H. W. Preston 

At the December 20 meeting Preston's request was granted. 11 
Five years later the Lodge paid F. H. Reeder $20.50 "for work 

* Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1829, 13-15. 

10 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1831, 5-6. 

11 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1835, 12-13. 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 347 

done on chimney and stove in theatre." 12 The last professional 
performance in the building was on January 8, 1841, as will 
be indicated below, but the structure was identified on maps 
of Raleigh for 1847 and 1872. 13 It was finally abandoned in 
1874. 14 

The first professional performance in the new theater oc- 
curred on November 22, 1816, when a Mr. Philibert offered a 
program of "upwards of over 260 of the most wonderful and 
curious performances in Tumbling," according to his advertise- 
ment in the Register for that date. During the next spring, on 
April 25, 1817, the Register advertised that James H. Caldwell, 
a popular actor-manager in the South, would appear for one 
more evening on April 26 in "A Dramatic Olio from Shakespeare, 
Otway, and Morton" and the anonymous farce Three and the 
Deuce, assisted by the gentlemen of the Thespian Society. During 
the next year, on June 26, 1818, the Register announced that 
"We are authorized to say that Mr. Caldwell and a part of his 
Company are now at Petersburg, and when joined by the re- 
mainder, will set off instantly for this place." The notice con- 
tinued to the effect that the group planned to open with Charles 
Kemble's The Point of Honor, or School for Soldiers and J. T. 
Allingham's farce Fortune's Frolic, but with no date for the 
opening. Caldwell was a native of England who had made his 
debut on the American stage at the Charleston Theater in 
November, 1816, and who later became the manager of theaters 
in several southern cities. 15 He did not advertise the titles of 
plays offered in Raleigh after the opening night but probably 
relied upon the distribution of daily handbills. In fact, the 
Register for July 17 stated that "The theater continues to be 
numerously and fashionably attended. The Patronage afforded 
it (in proportion to the population of Raleigh) it is believed, 
has never been surpassed in America." The length of the engage- 
ment is uncertain. 

On the following September 11, Mr. Handel opened at the 
theater for a few nights with performances of "Apparent Necro- 

12 Proceedings of the Grand Lodge, 1840, 10. 

13 Swain, Early Times in Raleigh, "Map of Raleigh for 1847," opposite p. 41; "Bird's Eye 
View of the City of Raleigh. North Carolina, 1872," drawn by C. N. Drie. 

14 Nichols, History of Hiram Lodge no. U0, 16. 

15 T. Allston Brown, History of the American Stage ( New York : Dick and Fitzgerald, 
1870), 61; N. M. Ludlow, Dramatic Life As I Found It (St. Louis: I. Jones and Co., 1880), 

348 The North Carolina Historical Review 

mancy, consisting of Magical, Mathematical, and Philosophical 
Experiments, with a variety of elegant feats by dexterity of 
hand." 16 On Monday, November 16, of the same year during the 
session of the General Assembly, the theater was opened by an 
unidentified company, 17 but the weekly advertisement appearing 
in the Register on November 20 indicated that the offering for 
that evening would be Mrs. Elizabeth Inchbald's The Midnight 
Hour and Prince Hoare's farce No Song, No Supper, followed 
on the next evening by George Lillo's George Barnwell and John 
O'Keefe's The Poor Soldier. A week later, on November 27, 
George Coleman the Younger's The Mountaineers was adver- 
tised as the main play for that evening and Charles Kemble's 
The Point of Honor for the next night. These selected titles 
indicate that the company offered the most popular contem- 
porary English and American plays, apparently with a nightly 
change of program for an engagement of at least two weeks. 

There was no further professional entertainment for more 
than three years. From September 21 through November 16, 
1821, the theater was advertised in the Register for rent at ten 
dollars a night, "exclusive of the bar," and it was suggested that 
"a small but respectable Company of Comedians" would do well 
during the sitting of the Assembly and "for some time before 
and after." A note at the end stated that the advertisement 
was to be inserted in the Charleston Courier and the Augusta 
Advertiser once a week for four weeks and that letters of inquiry 
were to be addressed to the president of the Thespian Society. 
Although there was no evidence for two years of a reply to the 
advertisement by a full dramatic company, in the meantime, 
Mr. Lewis and his five children, "the oldest eleven, the youngest 
three," gave concerts at the theater on January 4 and 5, 1822 ; 18 
Mr. Charles, a magician and sword swallower, appeared in 
Mrs. Jeter's Long Room within the same year on July 11, 12, 
and 13 ; 19 and Mr. Potter, ventriloquist, opened at the theater 
on the following September 26 for a brief engagement. 20 

The delayed response to the "for rent" advertisement came 
during the session of the Assembly in the fall of 1823 when 

16 Register, September 11, 1818. 

17 Register, November 20, 1818. 

18 Register, January 4, 1822. 
18 Register, July 12, 1822. 

20 Register, September 27, 1822. 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 349 

Messrs. Herbert and Drummond, "from the Theatres of New 
York, Philadelphia, and Boston," according to their advertise- 
ment, opened the theater on November 28 with John Home's 
Douglas and Coleman the Younger's The Blue Devils. The man- 
agers were John Herbert, an English actor who had made his 
American debut at the Chestnut Street Theater in Philadelphia 
during 1817, and W. C. Drummond, also an Englishman, who 
had first appeared in this country at the Holiday Street Theater 
in Baltimore in 1810. 21 Performances were announced for Mon- 
day, Wednesday, and Friday evenings only, tickets were to be 
one dollar with children half price, and the theater bar was 
to be sublet as a concession. The company remained for three 
weeks through December 19, offering such popular pieces as 
John Howard Payne's The Maid and the Magpie, a melodrama, 
on December 5 ; James Kenney's Matrimony, sl comedy, on 
December 12; and The Forty Thieves, an anonymous "Grand 
Operatical Romance," according to the advertisement, on 
December 19. 

During the following spring, Mr. Nichols, a ventriloquist, 
appeared on March 30, 1824, at Goneke's Concert Hall, which 
had been opened to the public during the preceding fall on 
October 17 by J. F. Goneke. Upon its opening, the building 
was advertised as a "Restoratory and Concert Hall" and appears 
to have been a combination grocery store, music store, and 
concert hall located on the west side of Fayetteville Street. 22 
Nichols returned for another engagement at Goneke's on April 8. 
On the following June 15, John Herbert again announced him- 
self in the Register as the manager of the theater and stated 
that he had engaged Frederick Brown of the Charleston Theater 
"for a few nights" and would open on June 16 with perform- 
ances on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings. There was 
a delay, however, because the advertisement for June 18 an- 
nounced the performance for that evening, Pizarro, as Brown's 
first night and added that he had been engaged for five nights. 
Brown, a native of England, was doubtless the most talented 
professional performer to appear in Raleigh to that date. He 
had been a member of the excellent Charleston Company since 

21 Brown, History of the American Staae, 106 and 171. 

22 Register, October 17, 1823. 

350 The North Carolina Historical Review 

1816 and had been acting manager of that theater during the 
season 1823-1824, which had closed in Charleston on May 26. 23 

Pizarro, the play for the opening night of Brown's Raleigh 
engagement, was a very popular melodrama by the German 
playwright August von Kotzebue, and the translation could 
have been one by William Dunlap, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 
or Charles Smith. In this performance Brown took the part of 
Rolla ; Herbert played Pizarro ; Mr. Hartwig, advertised as being 
from the Boston Theater, played Alonzo; Mrs. Hartwig played 
Elvira ; and Mrs. Johns, of the Montreal Theater, took the role of 
Cora. At the end of the play Brown delivered William Collins's 
famous "Ode on the Passions," accompanied by the "original and 
appropriate Music," and the anonymous farce The Rendezvous 
followed. Brown's last night was on July 2, when he appeared 
in John Banim's Damon and Pythias. After his departure the 
company offered one more production on July 5 in the form of 
M. M. Noah's The Plains of Chippewa, which was advertised as 
having been offered in the principal cities of the United States 
"with uncommon admiration." 24 It should be noted that this 
brief summer season of two weeks and one day was of special 
significance in that the Assembly was not in session, and the 
company was supported only by the local population, which 
was 2,674 in 1820. 

Herbert returned as manager during the fall of the same 
year and opened the theater on November 12, 1824, with Monk 
Lewis's The Castle Spectre and the anonymous farce Married 
Yesterday for an engagement of five weeks through December 
17, with performances three times a week. In a special notice in 
the Register for December 7, Herbert, in connection with a pub- 
lic announcement of the theft of $8.74 by the ticket taker of 
the theater, designated himself as "manager of the Theatres in 
North Carolina and Virginia," and later he became a member 
of the Charleston Company from 1826 through 1828 and during 
the season 1837-1838. 25 

During Herbert's extended engagement some of the more 
outstanding offerings were William Barnes's "Serio, Comico, 
Musico, Tragico Burletta" Bombastes Furioso, which was pre- 

23 W. Stanley Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre (Tuscaloosa: University of 
Alabama Press, 1946), 88-90 and 209. 
2* Register, July 2, 1824. 
25 Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre, 214. 


Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 351 

sented as an afterpiece on November 17; Charles Macklin's 
Love a la Mode on November 26 ; John Howard Payne's popular 
melodrama Adeline, or the Victim of Seduction on December 3 ; 
Samuel Woodworth's Lafayette, or the Castle of Olmutz on 
December 8; and W. T. MoncriefFs musical extravaganza Tom 
and Jerry on the final night, December 17. As a farewell gesture 
the citizens of Raleigh gave Herbert a subscription ball at 
Goneke's Hall on December 21, 26 and the Thespian Society gave 
a benefit performance, consisting of James Kenney's melodrama 
Ella Rosenberg and J. T. Allingham's 'Tis All a Farce, on De- 
cember 25 for Mrs. Hartwig. 27 

After Herbert's company left, the theater remained dark for 
almost four years. It was reopened on November 27, 1828, for 
a two-night stand by Mr. Holland, ventriloquist, on his way to 
Charleston and New Orleans. 28 Within two weeks, on December 
9, the Register announced that the theater had already opened 
for a short season, probably on Monday, December 8, and that 
it would be under the management of A. Keyser, with per- 
formances on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. The 
offerings for December 9 were David Garrick's popular Catherine 
and Petruchio and William Macready's The Village Lawyer, 
There were no further newspaper notices, but Keyser doubtless 
relied upon the usual daily handbills. 

During the next season Keyser gave notice in the Register 
from September 24 through October 15, 1829, that he would 
manage the theater again for a short season during the session 
of the Legislature and that he had secured ". . . an excellent 
Company, and trusts that his efforts to please will be met by 
a corresponding degree of patronage from a liberal public." 
From October 19 through November 2 he announced the group 
engaged as that of W. Riddle, and the opening performance on 
November 9 consisted of John Tobin's The Honey Moon and the 
anonymous farce The Rendezvous. Performances were to be 
nightly, 29 but there were no further newspaper notices until 
November 30, when John Howard Payne's melodrama Therese, 
or the Orphan of China and the anonymous The Young Widow 
were advertised for that evening. By that date the nightly 

26 Register, December 17 and 21, 1824. 

27 Register, December 24, 1824. 
88 Register, November 28, 1828. 
29 Register, November 5, 1829. 

352 The North Carolina Historical Review 

bills had been changed to Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and 
Saturday offerings. 

The November 30 issue of the Register contained an interest- 
ing letter to the editor in which the writer, who signed himself 
"Goldsmith and Co.," praised Therese as being "full of life and 
incident, sound in its moral tone, and from the number of 
interesting characters, well calculated to bring out the talent 
of the Theatrical Corps." He concluded his remarks by stating 
that "The unwearied exertions of the Company now performing 
here to deserve and obtain public patronage, cannot but be ap- 
preciated by all who are in the habit of visiting the Theatre." 
There were no additional notices of this company, however, 
and the theater again remained dark for five and a half years. 
One reason for the neglect during these years was very probably 
the development after 1825 of a strong antipathy to the drama 
by the evangelical clergy and a certain portion of the population, 
as indicated by Guion Johnson. 30 In spite of the opposition, 
however, the professional offerings did not cease altogether 
since there were sporadic engagements of companies through 
the last months of 1840. After that date professional entertain- 
ment continued but not in the form of plays, as will be indicated 

The theater was possibly reopened on August 18, 1835, by 
Mr. Skelline, ventriloquist, who advertised in the Register for 
that date that he would appear in Raleigh "for a few evenings 
only," but he did not give the place of performance or specific 
dates of the engagement. On the following November 5, how- 
ever, Henry W. Preston made the following announcement in 
the Star: 

Having become the lessee of the principal Theatres in the State, 
viz. Raleigh, Wilmington, and Newbern, he [Preston] has just 
returned from the North, where he has succeeded in engaging, 
from the different Theatres, a strong and efficient Corps Bra- 
matique, whose talents cannot be surpassed by any stock com- 
pany in the United States. He has added to his Company the 
French dancer, Madame Vincent, from the Royal Opera, Paris. 

Another announcement by Preston followed in the Register on 
November 9 and 17 to the effect that the theater would be opened 

80 Guion Griffis Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, a Social History (Chapel Hill: 
University of North Carolina Press, 1937), 178-179. 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 353 

on November 16 and that 'The House, of late years, being so 
neglected as to render it almost unfit and uncomfortable for 
Ladies to enter, is now undergoing a thorough repair." The 
lengthy notice presented details of the ornate redecorations, 
such as "a warm painting of variegated colours, intermingled 
with gold" on the proscenium and fronts of the boxes, festooned 
draperies over the stage doors, and "figures of different shapes" 
on the panel front of the boxes. 31 There were no additional 
notices concerning the opening production on November 16, but 
on December 3 Isaac Pocock's melodrama Rob Roy MacGregor 
was announced for that evening, with the anonymous farce 
The Spectre Bridegroom and a highland fling by Madame 
Vincent. 32 Then Preston again ceased to advertise, but, as noted 
above, he submitted a letter to the Grand Lodge on December 12 
asking permission to use the theater for two additional weeks 
free of rent because of his expenditures in renovating the 
building, and his request was granted on December 20. This 
would imply a total engagement of six weeks and four days. 

During the next year there was only one performance at the 
theater, that of Herr Zaionczek "for a few nights only," be- 
ginning on December 26, 1836. 33 His program was as follows: 
Part I, Herr Zaionczek in gymnastic feats ; Part II, Mr. Maelzel's 
Celebrated Automaton Rope Dancer ; and Part III, the Phantas- 
copal Illusions, "in which will be displayed several Scriptural, 
Historical, and Comic subjects." The theater then remained 
closed for two years. From September 3 through October 1, 
1838, it was advertised for rent, and the notice, signed by John 
Marshall, stated that an efficient manager might make the 
theater profitable during the session of the Assembly, ". . . 
as but a small Stock Company will answer, if judiciously se- 
lected, and the incidental expenses will be light." 34 The adver- 
tisement was to be run in the Washington National Intelligencer, 
the Richmond Compiler, and the New York Evening Star. 

In response to the advertisement, the Chapman Family 
opened on December 25, 1838, with T. Haynes Bayley's Per- 
fection, or the Maid of Munster and Arthur Murphy's Three 
Weeks After Marriage. This "family troupe" was followed by 

31 Account quoted at length by Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina, 176. 

32 Star, December 3, 1835. 

33 Register, December 27, 1836. 

34 Register, September 3-October 1, 1838. 


54 The North Carolina Historical Review 

another, the Edward L. Davenport Family, who featured the 
child prodigy Fanny Davenport, eleven years old. There was 
no notice of the opening performance, but January 7, 1839, was 
designated as the last night of her appearance, when she played 
the role of Young Norval in Home's Douglas. 35 She made such 
a great impression that the Register carried a special news item : 
' 'Those who wish to see a specimen of acting, such as, perhaps, 
they will never again enjoy at this Theatre, and witness touches 
of the histrionic art unrivalled, at least within our experience, 
should not lose this opportunity of gratifying their curiosity 
and taste.'' 36 The Davenports traveled on to Charleston where 
Fanny appeared during January and February in such difficult 
roles as Shylock and King Richard III. 37 

The theater was opened for its final brief season on October 
3, 1840, under the management of H. B. Phillips, who an- 
nounced that he had engaged Mr. Delaroux "of the principal 
Theatres of Europe and the United States." 38 The season began 
at this early date because of the State Whig Convention in 
Raleigh beginning on October 5, and in a special communication 
the Register called the attention of the visitors to the Phillips 
Company: "There are some excellent performers among them; 
and as there will probably be hundreds here who have never 
been in a regular Theatre, a fine opportunity will be offered for 
gratifying their curiosity." 39 The company opened on October 3 
with the anonymous Warlock of the Glen and Mrs. Charles 
Kemble's A Day after the Wedding, but no further notices ap- 
peared until November 3, when a benefit for Mrs. Phillips was 
indicated in the Register for the next evening. The final per- 
formance at the theater during the period covered by this survey 
was a benefit on January 8, 1841, for Mr. Luckett, a member 
of the Phillips Company. 

Although there were no further performances of plays in 
Raleigh during the ante-bellum years, except for one produc- 
tion in 1860 to be noted below, professional entertainment con- 
tinued in other forms: namely, variety shows, concert artists 
and groups, magicians, minstrels, and panoramas. Many of these 

85 Register, January 7, 1839. 

36 January 7, 1839. 

37 Hoole, The Ante-Bellum Charleston Theatre, 108. 

38 Register, October 2, 1840. 
30 October 2, 1840. 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 355 

entertainments were offered in the City Hall above the City 
Market, located on the east side of Fayetteville Street between 
Martin and Hargett and erected in 1840. 40 During the remaining 
ante-bellum years, the population of Raleigh increased from 
2,244 in 1840 to 4,780 in 1860. 

The largest number of performances were in the fields of 
variety entertainment and concert music, both of which were 
almost equally represented. The first of the rather elaborate 
variety shows was J. Morris's Celebrated New York Exhibition, 
consisting of "Songs, Glees, Duetts, Recitations, etc./' on Decem- 
ber 12, 1840. The show was presented in a tent seating six 
hundred on "the lot in the rear of Jones's Hotel," 41 and it re- 
turned to the same location on the following January 1. The first 
variety performance at the City Hall was Underner's Swiss Bell 
Ringers, who appeared on December 25 and 26, 1844, and they 
were followed on about February 15 of the new year by Colonel 
Chaffin, "the original American Tom Thumb," who was nineteen 
years old, weighed twenty-seven pounds, and was twenty-seven 
inches tall. On February 18 he was advertised as appearing 
for two days longer, and he returned in 1846 for a three-day 
engagement, February 16-18, "in the large Saloon at B. B. 
Smith's corner." 42 This was not the General Tom Thumb 
(Charles Sherwood Stratton) who became internationally 
famous under the management of P. T. Barnum. On October 
23 and 24, 1849, Signor Spinetto and his One Hundred Learned 
Canary Birds and Java Sparrows appeared in the City Hall; 
and on January 24 and 25, 1851, The Great Rhigas, Prince of 
Equilibrists from Paris, and Mr. Merrifield, comic vocalist, per- 
formed in the same place. 

After an interval of more than three years, variety was again 
offered on May 1-4, 1854, in the form of Parrow and Company's 
Great Southern Burlesque Opera and Ballet Troupe, which 
played in a tent at an unidentified location and offered singing 
and dancing, though there were apparently no complete bur- 
lesque operas. On September 23 of the same year MacKensie's 
Vaudeville Troupe appeared at the City Hall; and on May 26 

40 Moses N. Amis, Historical Raleigh with Sketches of Wake County (Raleigh: Com- 
mercial Printing Co., 1913), 94; Swain, Early Times in Raleigh, "Map of Raleigh for 1847," 
opposite p. 41. 

41 Register, December 11, 1840. 

42 Register, February 17, 1846, 

356 The North Carolina Historical Review 

and 27, 1859, Everett's Varieties, "consisting of Magic, Mirth, 
and Minstrelsy," played in a tent on Nash Square and featured 
a juvenile ballet. At the beginning of the next year the Joe 
Parker family played at the City Hall for two weeks, February 
13-25, 1860, and during the second week the Register reported 
that the company was being "favored with crowded and fash- 
ionable audiences." 43 Next appeared the Blaisdell Brothers' 
Swiss Bell Ringers on the following May 18 and 19. In the fall 
of the same year the Bailey Varieties played for two weeks, 
beginning on October 1, in a tent located in Baptist Grove. 44 
Since Fair Week began on October 8, the Parker Family returned 
to play for a week in the City Hall contemporaneously with the 
Bailey show. The only notice of the production of a play during 
these years was a special news item in the Register for October 
10, 1860, to the effect that the Bailey troupe on that evening 
would offer Tom Taylor's Our American Cousin with George 
Bailey, who "is considered by many of our citizens one of the best 
comic actors they have ever seen." He probably played the 
leading role of Lord Dundreary. At the end of the year the 
Parker Family was again advertised from November 21 through 
December 5 at the City Hall. 

In the field of concert entertainment, the first group was 
Thomas Hamblin's Original Operatic Serenaders, who appeared 
on January 17 and 18, 1845, at the City Hall. Within a few 
months, on April 4 and 5, The Orphean Family from the Banks 
of the Kennebec offered a concert of vocal music. They were 
followed on March 28, 1846, by Mr. Dempster, vocalist and com- 
poser, who returned on February 20, 1851, to appear in Yar- 
brough's Saloon. On December 15, 1846, W. F. Ramsay, a Scotch 
piper, presented a concert on four different bagpipes ; and on the 
following March 30 the Hughes Family presented a vocal and 
instrumental program, including operatic selections. An unusual 
performance was that of Herr Stoepel with his renditions on 
"the Wood and Straw Instrument" on March 9, 1849, at the City 
Hall, assisted by Madame Lovarny, who sang in several langu- 
ages. The longest engagement was that of Old Joe Sweeney and 
J. A. Sweeney, appearing for three nights, December 19-21, 1850, 
at the City Hall in vocal selections. 

43 February 22, 1860. 

"Register. October 3 and 10, 1860. 































J 8 

Ante-Bellum Professional Theater 357 

The most noted figure in the entertainment world to visit ante- 
bellum Raleigh was Madame Anna Bishop, English soprano, who 
toured both the western and eastern hemispheres during her 
career. She appeared at Yarbrough's Saloon on March 24 and 25, 
1851, in a Grand Lyric Concert in Costumes, assisted by Signor 
Novelli, basso, and Mr. Boscha, pianist. The reviewer for the 
Register found her to be an "accomplished and beautiful lady" 
as well as "an inimitable actress," and he added that ". . . she 
far surpassed even, the expectations which her high reputation 
had excited in our community." 45 She returned to Yarbrough's 
on April 12 and 14, 1853, and was again well received. Another 
famous artist was Madame Amelia Siminski, advertised as "The 
Greatest and most wonderful Flutist of the Age," who appeared 
at Yarbrough's on March 31, 1854, assisted by Herr Bauer. 

Among the earliest minstrels to tour in the South were the 
Original Plantation Melodists, who played at the City Hall on 
November 26-28, 1844. The next minstrel did not appear until 
nine years later when the Fakir of Siva's Great Southern 
Ethiopian Opera and Ballet Troupe opened for a three-day 
engagement at the City Hall on November 28, 1853. After a brief 
interval the Ned Davis Olio Minstrels played in the same hall on 
the following February 1 and 2, and within the same year 
Sweeney's Virginia Minstrels appeared for a three-day engage- 
ment at the Odd Fellows Hall on October 16-18. The last show of 
this kind before the war was the Julien Minstrels for one night 
at the City Hall on February 26, 1856. 

The first of the popular magicians was the Fakir of Ava with 
his Splendid Illusive Lectures, assisted by Miss Jane Wyman, at 
the City Hall on January 14-16, 1845. During the next month, 
Haskell, magician and ventriloquist, was advertised on Febru- 
ary 14 to appear shortly, an added attraction being Signor 
Veronia's marionettes. During the next season both Haskell and 
the marionettes returned as a part of the Emir of Ajah's Grand 
Soiree, which played for one night on April 6, 1846. The last 
magician was Everett and company who performed on October 
15 and 16, 1856, at the City Hall. 

One popular type of entertainment which is now obsolete was 
the moving panorama, a series of pictures exhibited one at a time 

45 Register, March 26, 1851. 

358 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by being unrolled before the audience. Although Herr Zaionczek 
had offered his Phantascopal Illusions in 1836, as indicated above, 
the first large panorama to visit Raleigh was Pomarede's Origi- 
nal Panorama of the Mississippi River and Indian Life, which 
was advertised on June 26, 1850, "for a few nights only" but 
which was still being exhibited at the City Hall on July 3. 46 Next, 
Rossiter's New and Wonderful Paintings, chiefly biblical, were 
shown for three days, October 31-November 2, 1854. One of the 
most elaborate exhibitions that ever toured the South opened in 
Raleigh with a matinee on Christmas Day, 1859, at the City 
Hall and stayed for three additional evening performances. The 
attraction was Dr. Beale's Exhibition of India and the Sepoy 
Rebellion, consisting of animated scenes with guns firing, battle- 
ships moving, troops attacking, etc. It was advertised as "a study 
for the mechanic; a school for the artist, it being the first and 
only exhibition of the kind either in the United States or 
Europe" 47 This was followed almost a year later on December 
19, 1860, by the Moving Mirror of Bunyan Tableaux, a presenta- 
tion of sixty scenes from Pilgrim's Progress with life-size figures. 
It proved to be so popular that it remained for two weeks at the 
City Hall. 

The Bunyan panorama was the last professional attraction in 
Raleigh during the ante-bellum years. At the time it appeared, 
political tensions were growing rapidly, and the war clouds were 
fast gathering. There were no further performances of any kind 
through December 31, 1861. 

40 North Carolina Standard (Raleigh), July 3, 1850. 
47 Register, December 21, 1859. 


By Wilfred B. Yearns, Jr. 

When the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the 
United States provoked the secession of the lower South, North 
Carolina, like the other border states, considered such hasty 
action inadvisable. The right of secession was unquestioned, but 
the state's subsistence agriculture and growing industrialism 
made it somewhat like the North and reluctant to act precipi- 
tately. Opinion *bn the expediency of secession was sharply 
divided, with the outcome depending largely on the policies of the 
Lincoln government. The "Unionists" or "conservatives" be- 
longed mainly to the old Whig Party and until the firing on Fort 
Sumter considered secession unwise. The "secessionists" or 
"Democrats" had resolved by 1861 that honor and safety de- 
manded immediate alliance with the lower South. 

In November and December, 1860, the latter demanded a 
plebiscite on secession. The Unionists, then in a slight majority, 
opposed any referendum lest opinion be swayed by the positive 
secessionist clamor. But the seizure of the forts below Wilming- 
ton and the secession of other states abetted the disunionists. By 
mid-January, 1861, most Unionists were reconciled to a conven- 
tion and hoped that a defeat of secessionism might establish a 
border state pattern. The legislature called for convention elec- 
tions on February 28 with the voters also to decide on "con- 
vention" or "no convention." After a short and vigorous 
campaign the convention call was defeated by a bare 651 votes. 

Events quickly followed, however, to end this indecision. The 
North Carolinians at the Washington Peace Conference in Feb- 
ruary reported the complete failure of compromise. Simultane- 
ously a delegation to the Confederate Congress in Montgomery 
recognized the futility of seeking any settlement and advised 
immediate secession. Lincoln's call for 75,000 volunteers climaxed 
this crisis and "did more than all the secessionists to break up 
the Union. . . J' 1 Governor John W. Ellis's refusal to fulfill the 
requisition made on North Carolina was generally approved by 
conservative and secessionist alike. In the campaign that fol- 

1 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), The Correspondence of Jonathan Worth (Raleigh, 
1909), I, 150. 


360 The North Carolina Historical Review 

lowed the hurried call for a state convention on May 20, few 
opposed secession and no candidate succeeded on a platform of 
staunch Unionism. 

In the brief campaign for convention delegates there were no 
clearly denned parties or party issues. Conservatives protested 
the secessionists' assuming the right of leadership, though by 
May political rivalry was usually based on a contest for office and 
influence. 2 But for practical reasons the old political organiza- 
tions were retained as the most convenient method of supporting 
candidates. The result was that the successful candidate generally 
represented his county's stand on party and secession. The 
presidential campaign of 1860 had given new life to the North 
Carolina Whigs, who revealed surprising strength when the 
convention was organized. This became apparent when the 
Democrat Weldon N. Edwards, supported by the secessionists, 
was narrowly elected president of the convention over William 
A. Graham, a Whig conservative. 3 

After adopting unanimously an ordinance of secession the 
convention ratified the Confederate constitution and proceeded 
to elect the allotted ten members to the Montgomery Congress. 
Both conservatives and secessionists held caucuses and nomi- 
nated unofficial tickets. The former assembled at the residence 
of William W. Holden, editor of the Raleigh Standard, and nomi- 
nated a number of strong conservatives. 4 The secessionists in 
turn cleverly catered to a larger part of the electorate by in- 
cluding on their ticket several recent converts. 5 The balloting 
for each district was sharply divided between the two factions. 
Had the original secessionists voted together consistently they 
could have swept the elections with their small majority; but 
approximately a score of them acknowledged the need for har- 
mony and combined with the conservatives often enough to split 
the delegation. 6 

2 "I have not seen it as you have, but I know well enough the proscriptive, unscrupulous 
& corrupt policy of the dominant party of which you speak." Edwin G. Reade to William A. 
Graham, July 2, 1861, William A. Graham Papers, North Carolina Department of Archives 
and History, Raleigh. 

3 Journal of the Convention of the People of North Carolina, Held on the 20th Day of 
May, A. D., 1861, 5, 6. 

* These were Bedford Brown, H. W. Miller, George Green, W. N. H. Smith, R. C. Pur- 
year, W. R. Myers, and A. T. Davidson. 

'"' The secessionists nominated George Davis, Thomas Ruffin, W. W. Avery, R. H. Smith, 
T. D. S. McDowell, J. R. Cunningham, A. W. Venable, R. L. Patterson, Burton Ci-aige, and 
W. H. Woodfin. 

6 These independents represented all sections of the state. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 361 

The delegation to the Provisional Congress included, in the 
order of their districts, William Nathan Harrell Smith, 7 Thomas 
Ruffin, 8 Thomas David Smith McDowell, 9 Abraham Watkins 
Venable, 10 John Motley Morehead, 11 Richard Clanselle Pur- 
year, 12 Francis Burton Craige, 13 and Allen Turner Davidson; 14 
William Waightstill Avery 15 and George Davis 16 were elected 
delegates at large. Usually each congressman represented the 
majority party in his district. 17 Those with obviously superior 
qualifications won easily ; where the contestants were essentially 
equal the balloting was close. Of the delegates at large, George 
Davis was a Unionist Whig from the east and W. W. Avery a 
secessionist Democrat from the west. The result was a well- 
balanced delegation evenly divided between Whigs and Demo- 
crats. In addition it contained four Unionists, four original 
secessionists, and two secessionists converted by the failure of 
the Washington Peace Conference. 

The Provisional Congress, a temporary body of one year's 
duration, had begun on February 4, but the North Carolina 
delegates did not arrive until five months later at the third 
session. By this time the Congress had slipped, with some excep- 
tion, into the role it was destined to play for the next four years. 
Confederate leaders originally were extremely eager to inaugu- 
rate a harmonious and efficient government. Old rivalries had 
been evident even in the several secession conventions and their 

7 Smith graduated from Yale and was an attorney in Hertford County. He had served in 
the United States Congress as a Whig, and he opposed secession until Lincoln's call for 

8 Ruffin graduated from the College of New Jersey and practiced law in Wayne County. 
He had served in the legislature as a Democrat, and in 1861 he was president of the North 
Carolina State Bank. He favored compromise until the failure of the Washington Peace 

9 McDowell graduated from the University of North Carolina, then became a lawyer and 
a planter of importance. He represented Bladen County in the legislature as a Democrat 
and was an early secessionist. 

10 Venable studied law and medicine at Hampden-Sydney and Princeton respectively, then 
practiced law in Granville County. He served in the United States Congress as a State 
Rights Democrat and was an original secessionist. He maintained a large plantation. 

11 Morehead graduated from the University of North Carolina, then read law and practiced 
in Guilford County. He became wealthy through his cotton* mills and merchant houses. In 
1846 to 1848 he was Whig governor of North Carolina and in 1861 was a Unionist. 

12 Puryear was a planter in Yadkin County and had served in the United States Congress 
as a Whig. He opposed secession until Lincoln's call for troops. 

13 Craige graduated from the University of North Carolina and became editor of the 
Western Carolinian in Rowan County. He later read law and practiced, and soon was 
elected to the United States Congress. He was a strong Democrat and an original secessionist. 

11 Davidson studied law while working in his father's store. He became a successful advo- 
cate in Cherokee County, and in 1860 was president of the Miners' and Planters' Bank of 
Mt. Murphry. He had had no legislative experience before 1861, though he was a Whig and 
a strong opponent of secession. 

15 Avery graduated from the University of North Carolina and adopted his father's pro- 
fessions of planter and lawyer. He represented Burke County in the legislature as a Democrat 
and advocated immediate secession on Lincoln's election. 

16 Davis graduated from the University of North Carolina and commenced a successful 
law practice in Wilmington. He was a strong Unionist Whig in 1861, but turned secessionist 
after the failure of the Washington Peace Conference. 

17 Craige of the seventh district was the only exception. 

362 The North Carolina Historical Review 

continuation might easily produce doubts of a lasting unity. 
Therefore the Provisional Congress took every precaution to 
avoid appearances of indecision or dissention. 18 In addition it 
recognized the weakness of a legislative body in emergencies and 
during the first heat of war it avoided policy making whenever 
possible. To be sure, its membership was exceptionally experi- 
enced, but the fact that Congress was a "creature of conventions'* 
detracted from its appeal as a popular body. Conversely, Presi- 
dent Jefferson Davis embodied the new Confederate spirit. Well 
versed in political and military life, he quickly captured the 
imagination of the people and thereupon assumed a role quite 
incommensurate with federal precedent. During the first year he 
directly or indirectly controlled all major legislation, and Con- 
gress was faced with the alternative of acceding to or opposing 
the administration. Actually the decision was not difficult, for in 
1861 the Confederacy was popular and both branches of govern- 
ment were essentially in agreement. 

The North Carolina provisional congressmen for the most 
part accepted this situation. Military affairs were satisfactory, 
prices were steady, state rights were respected, and popular 
enthusiasm was high. Politics was at a low ebb and few criticized 
the Davis administration for its Democratic tinge. Former 
Unionists and secessionists alike occupied responsible govern- 
ment positions with only the radicals meeting discrimination. 
Nevertheless, within these limits, the North Carolina delegation 
quickly revealed itself as no legislative cat's-paw. It offered little 
concerted opposition to the administration program, but oc- 
casionally voiced ideas of federal conduct which seemed appli- 
cable to North Carolina's relationship with the Confederacy. The 
usual technique was to demand what modifications in the admin- 
istration program it deemed necessary and then, whether suc- 
cessful or not, accept the measure without quarrel. 

By the summer of 1861 the Confederacy's original policy of 
shoestring finance had proved to be inadequate. Complete de- 
pendence on credit would create a redundant currency, so 
taxation seemed necessary. On August 3 the Committee on 
Finance proposed the issue of $1,000,000 in treasury notes and 

18 Leadership of the Yancey-Rhett type was avoided, and Rhett himself was suspect by 
many because "he is so damned impracticable, that I am afraid he will kick up hell . . . 
anyhow." John R. Horsey to William P. Miles, December 10, 1860, Miles Papers, University 
of North Carolina. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 363 

a war tax for their redemption of .5 per cent on all taxable 
property. 19 During the discussion of this and supplementary bills, 
North Carolina, having a high property valuation, was a con- 
sistent critic of heavy taxation. The majority of the delegation 
first attempted to allocate the taxes raised to paying the interest 
on the public debt. 20 Failing here, they suggested a halving of 
the tax rate, but were again defeated. 21 At other times they voted 
with the majority for a $500 property exemption, against the 
forced funding of treasury notes, and against tax favoritism to 
corporations. 22 On a test vote they opposed the war tax pro- 
gram, 23 but after being defeated by a wide margin they approved 
the bill unanimously on its final passage. 24 Avery and Craige 
were consistent proponents of the tax program, while Venable 
and Morehead supported it reservedly; the others disliked it 
roundly but accepted it. 

On other economic matters the delegation proved quite ortho- 
dox. In August, 1861, they opposed a general embargo bill, and 
in February, 1862, helped defeat the free trade movement. 25 In 
addition they approved keeping southern money crops from 
northern hands and sanctioned a law prohibiting the export of 
most staple crops except through Confederate ports. 26 These 
measures were an integral part of the administration's com- 
mercial policy, and while about a third of the states opposed 
them, there was no consistent state alignment. North Carolina's 
general approval of them indicated a desire to cooperate. 

During the first year of the Confederacy the central govern- 
ment took several half-way measures to gain control of the 
nation's manpower. The act of March 8, 1861, authorized the 
President to receive 100,000 volunteers from the several states' 
militia, while those of May 8 and May 11 permitted independent 
companies, battalions, and regiments to volunteer. When North 
Carolina entered the Confederacy there was already some dis- 
content over these latter acts, for, while retaining control over 
its militia, the state had no jurisdiction over those organizations 

19 A Bill to be entitled An Act to authorize the issue of Treasury Notes, and to provide 
a War Tax for their redemption. 

20 Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 (Washington, 
1904), I, 334, 335. Hereinafter cited as Journal of Congress. 

21 Journal of Congress, I, 335. 

22 Journal of Congress, I, 330-332, 577. 

23 Journal of Congress, I. 336. 
2i Journal of Congress, I, 359. 

25 Journal of Congress, I, 428, 820, 821. 

26 Journal of Congress, I, 308. 

364 The North Carolina Historical Review 

raised independently. Yet Craige and Venable were the only 
consistent opponents of granting the administration almost full 
control over all volunteers. 27 The delegation as a whole approved 
the filling of vacancies by independent volunteering and per- 
mitted the President to appoint recruiting officers in each state 
and to receive state militia for terms of three years. 28 The only 
major rebuff it suffered was the failure to repeal the act of 
August 21 authorizing the President to accept for local defense 
and special service an unspecified number of volunteers to defend 
exposed places. 29 

The Provisional Congress handled other important legislation,: 
but the Davis administration initiated most measures and saw 
them through without impairment. Legislation was usually 
routine, with state differences only occasionally cropping out. 
The North Carolina delegation accepted this condition and 
showed marked opposition to the administration only on the dis- 
position of volunteer troops. From tabulations of the voting on 
the major issues before Congress, Ruffin, Davidson, and Craige 
opposed a majority of the administration's measures. The others 
maintained an independence of thought which frequently pro- 
vided a divided vote, but generally accepted the administration 
program. Another aid to harmony was the disposition of the 
Provisional Congress "to turn over important matters to the 
next Congress," which would better represent the people. 30 

This Congress lasted only one year, and the North Carolina 
legislature named the first Wednesday in November, 1861, as 
election day for the ten representatives to the Permanent Con- 
gress. 31 The anomaly of a regular campaign in wartime forced 
candidates into rather subtler tactics than usual. During mid- 
summer they and their supporters began discussing campaign 
strategy. They realized that "the minds of the people seem to be 
engrossed in military matters to the entire exclusion of every- 
thing else," 32 and that a canvass might appear unpatriotic. Candi- 
dates, therefore, arranged to be "drafted" by "spontaneous" local 

27 Journal of Conoress, I, 667, 669, 673, 675. 

28 Journal of Congress, I, 667-669, 673-675. 

20 This act extended the President unusual latitude, for he was expected to use it infre- 
quently. As the problem of local defense became more urgent, Davis's persistent use of the 
act caused intermittent quarrels between state and Confederate governments. North Carolina 
voted 5-3 for its repeal, but was defeated 7-5. Journal of Congress, I, 765, 771, 772. 

30 R. C. Puryear to William A. Graham, February 5, 1862, Graham Papers. 

111 Public Laws of the State of North Carolina, Passed by the General Assembly, at its 
Second Extra Session, 1861, 5. 

' M A. J. Galloway to T. D. S. McDowell, September 30, 1861, McDowell Papers, University 
of North Carolina. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 365 

convention, and indicated acceptance by publishing short "cards" 
in the newspapers, swearing by Confederate principles, and 
promising a "vigorous prosecution of the war to a successful 
conclusion" if elected. Meanwhile they lined up men of good 
standing to direct their campaign. 

About two weeks before election day the candidates began 
speaking tours of their districts, attempting to appear at least 
once in each county. Rivals in the Fifth District staged joint de- 
bates, but elsewhere they warily avoided appearances of dis- 
harmony or ambition. Moreover there was little on which to 
electioneer. The Confederacy was still popular and government 
policies had not yet crystalized enough to attract much criticism. 
The secrecy maintained within the Provisional Congress had 
concealed any disagreements and national problems did not in- 
fluence the first election. Secessionists and Democrats claimed 
that those "who were most zealous for the war ought to conduct 
it." 33 Former Unionists and Whigs denounced this proscription on 
the grounds that "old Union men have gone to war" and deserved 
representation "to look after their interests." 34 

The electorate paid scant heed even to this subdued cam- 
paigning, and as the loyalty of each candidate was unquestioned 
the determining factor was the candidate's prior political affilia- 
tion. The delegation to the First Congress included, in the order 
of their districts, W. N. H. Smith, Robert Rufus Bridgers, 35 
Owen Rand Kenan, 36 T. D. S. McDowell, Archibald Hunter 
Arrington, 37 James Robert McLean, 38 Thomas Samuel Ashe, 39 
William Lander, 40 Burgess Sidney Gaither, 41 and A. T. Davidson. 
These men usually represented the majority party in their dis- 
tricts immediately before secession. An equal number of 

33 E. G. Reade to William A. Graham, July 2, 1861, Graham Papers. 
Zi Hillsboro Recorder, October 30, 1861. 

35 After graduating from the University of North Carolina, Bridgers was at one time or 
another a planter, bank president, railroad president, and lawyer. He represented Edge- 
combe County in the legislature as a Democrat and was an original secessionist. 

36 Kenan studied law, then became planter and lawyer. He represented Duplin County in 
the legislature as a Democrat and was an original secessionist. 

37 Arrington attended Louisburg College and became a successful lawyer and planter in 
Nash County. He served in the United States Congress as a Democrat and was a condi- 
tional secessionist. 

38 McLean received an academic education, read law, and became a successful advocate. 
He had represented Guilford County in the legislature as a Democrat and was an original 

39 Ashe graduated from the University of North Carolina, studied law under Thomas 
Ruffin, and commenced practice in Anson County. He served in the legislature as a Whig 
and opposed secession until Lincoln's call for volunteers. 

40 Lander was born in Ireland, but came to North Carolina as a boy and settled in Lincoln 
County. After an academic education he read law and commenced practice. He served in the 
legislature as a Democrat and was an original secessionist. 

41 Gaither attended the University of Georgia for a time and then read law and practiced 
in Burke County. He served in the legislature as a Whig, and was a Unionist in 1861. 

366 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Unionist- Whig and secessionist-Democrat districts chose men of 
corresponding political antecedents. In the Unionist-Whig fifth 
and sixth districts, two secession-Democrats profited from the 
war spirit, but they were moderates of long standing and won 
over extremists of both sides. 

The Democrats held a majority in the legislature, but a strong 
Whig minority combined with indecision among the Democrats 
to secure a compromise Senate delegation. After twelve ballots 
W. W. Avery and Thomas Lanier Clingman, two western Demo- 
crats, cast their support for George Davis, expecting the 
other senator to be a western Democrat. 42 Had Avery or Cling- 
man or both then withdrawn this would have been the case. But 
upon their continuing, all Whig candidates withdrew and suc- 
cessfully backed William Theophiius Dortch, 43 a moderate seces- 
sion Democrat also from the east. 44 In the Senate Davis drew only 
a two-year term ; he sought re-election in mid-1862, but a Whig 
legislature chose on the first ballot a leading conservative, Wil- 
liam Alexander Graham. 45 Davis resigned shortly before his term 
ended to become Confederate Attorney-General, and Governor 
Zebulon B. Vance offered the unexpired term first to Graham and 
then to David L. Swain. 46 They refused and it was accepted by a 
staunch conservative, Edwin Godwin Reade. 47 Dortch had drawn 
a four-year term and in December, 1864, the legislature again 
had to fill this important post. Dortch's strong support of the 
Davis administration had alienated even the Democrats, and in 
order to defeat the Holdenite candidate, E. G. Reade, they com- 
bined with the Vance conservatives to elect Thomas S. Ashe. 48 
The war ended before Ashe's term began. 

42 Raleigh Standard, September 18, 1861; Sketch of Avery's life in Walser Papers, Uni- 
versity of North Carolina. The shifting votes can be seen in Journal of the Senate, Second 
Extra Session, 1861, 123-152 passim: and Journal of the House of Commons, Second Extra 
Session, 1861, 153-194 passim. 

43 Despite a limited education, Dortch read law and became a successful advocate in 
Wayne County. He served in the legislature as a Democrat and became speaker of the 
House of Commons. He was a secessionist, though he incurred his party's disfavor by for- 
getting politics after secession. 

44 Journal of the Senate, Second Extra Session, 1861, 152, 153; Journal of the House of 
Commons, Second Extra Session, 1861, 152, 153; Journal of the House of Commons, Second 
Extra Session, 1861, 194, 195. 

^Journal of the Senate, 1862, 52, 53; Journal of the House of Commons, 1862, 46, 47. 
Graham graduated from the University of North Carolina and began a career of law and 
politics in Orange County. He became Whig senator in the United States Congress and Secre- 
tary of the Navy under Fillmore. He opposed secession in 1861. 

46 Z. B. Vance to William A. Graham, January 4, 1864, Graham Papers; Z. B. Vance to 
David L. Swain, January 11, 1864, Zebulon B. Vance Papers, North Carolina Department 
of Archives and History, Raleigh. 

47 Z. B. Vance to Edwin G. Reade, January 14, 1864, Vance's Letter Books, IX, 2, Con- 
federate Archives, Washington, D. C. Reade received an academic education, then read law 
and commenced practice in Person County. He was a Whig and later served in the United 
States Congress as an American. He strongly opposed secession. 

48 Journal of the Senate, 186U-65, 45-74 passim; Journal of the House of Commons, 186^-1865, 
74-112, passim. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 367 

Soon after the First Permanent Congress convened it faced its 
most controversial task. Volunteering had proved inadequate and 
by 1862 there was concern lest even the volunteers refuse to 
re-enlist. At the request of President Davis, Congress, with only 
two dissenting North Carolinians, passed the act of April 16, 
1862, drafting all men between eighteen and thirty-five. 49 But the 
press of danger soon abated and the delegation became much less 
tolerant of conscription. Besides doubting its constitutionality, 
they claimed that it interfered with state functions and officials 
and weakened the state militia. 50 When efforts were made in the 
fall of 1862 to extend the draft age the opposition countered with 
proposals to requisition several hundred thousand men from the 
states. The North Carolina representatives favored this plan, 
but both senators doubted its effectiveness and the substitute 
failed. 51 The age limit was then extended to forty-five, but with 
the approval of only two North Carolina representatives. 52 Other 
discussions of conscription found North Carolina in opposition 
when state prerogatives were threatened. They approved a draft 
of foreigners and citizens from occupied areas; 53 but they op- 
posed rushing all draftees into service immediately, the drafting 
of state militiamen on active duty, and any further extension of 
the draft age. 54 The Senate delegation was moderately pro- 
conscription, but the representatives were hostile to the very 
principle of conscription. 

But lest the draft endanger the home front, Congress was 
forced to devise means of deferring necessary civilians. Its origi- 
nal system was to exempt men in certain classes of occupations. 
Congressmen opposing conscription always favored generous 
exemptions, and North Carolina consistently strove to increase 
the number of class exemptions. The bitterest controversy was on 
drafting state employees, 55 and the delegation succeeded in 
exempting all officials deferred by state laws. 56 Its only opposi- 

49 Journal of Congress, II, 154; V, 228. Unless stated, the votes given will include both 
House and Senate votes. 

50 Gaither said, "I do not believe that we have the constitutional power to pass such a 
law; and if we had, I would not surrender the authority which the Constitution gives the 
several States over their militia to the Executive Department of the Confederate Govern- 
ment." Richmond Enquirer, September 25, 1862. 

^Journal of Congress, II, 153, 154, 260. 261; V, 344, 345, 396. 

52 Journal of Congress, V, 442, 443. 

53 Journal of Congress, II, 241; III, 340; VI, 442, 443. 

5 * Journal of Congress, II, 241; III, 546, 547, 554; V, 388, 397, 705; VI, 756. 

55 The legislature claimed that this "reduces the State governments to mere provincial ad- 
ministrations" and would "convert the Confederate government into a consolidated military 
despotism." Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 1864, 24. 

ee Journal of Congress, II, 285; III, 78; V, 436, 438. North Carolina had 22,807 men 
exempted on December 17, 1863. Communication from the Secretary of War, December 17, 
1863, relating to exemptions. 

368 The North Carolina Historical Review 

tion to liberal exemptions was that to the bill exempting planta- 
tion overseers. 57 They denounced this as class legislation, and 
though unsuccessful they received the commendation of their 
state. At times administration spokesmen attempted to substi- 
tute for exemptions a system whereby the executive could detail 
soldiers to civilian duties, but North Carolina protested this 
grant of legislative power to the President and assisted in defeat- 
ing it. 58 

After a cautious beginning the Davis administration in the 
spring of 1863 urged heavy taxation to finance the war and to 
prevent inflation. Congress acknowledged the need, but was 
divided on the rate and nature of the taxes. States with high 
property valuation were most vulnerable and North Carolina con- 
gressmen were consistently at odds with border state and western 
enthusiasts. The eight North Carolina tax opponents moderated 
the original measures when possible, but accepted the amended 
bills on the final vote. They opposed a graduated profit tax, a 2% 
per cent sales tax, a tax in kind, a small tax oil land, slaves, and 
Confederate bonds, and several others. 59 In addition they wished 
to assess taxes on an 1860 valuation rather than on market 
values, since inflation had driven the latter rates much higher. 60 
The delegation preferred that the existing state tax systems be 
used to collect Confederate taxes, and though defeated they 
were unanimous. 61 

The South lacked specie and the popular dislike for heavy 
taxation necessitated large and repeated issues of fiat money. 
By 1863 there were $410,000,000 in treasury notes outstanding, 62 
and since funding was proceeding laggardly Congress undertook 
to add a degree of compulsion to funding. The act of March 23, 
1863, withdrew the right of funding notes into bonds after a 
certain date, but as people continued to prefer the more usable 
notes President Davis and Secretary of the Treasury Christopher 
G. Memminger urged stronger measures to curb inflation. In 
December, 1863, Congress began studying plans for compulsory 
funding. North Carolina considered this a violation of contract 

57 Journal of Congress, II, 294-296, 311; III, 82, 305, 572; VI, 437, 438, 857-861. See the 
state's protest against overseer exemption in Public Laws of North Carolina, 1862-1863, 
49, 50. 

58 Journal of Congress, VI, 36-38, 94, 754-756. 

so Journal of Congress, III, 260, 722, 723; VI, 213, 214, 232, 631, 668, 669, 671. 

00 Journal of Congress, III, 738; VI, 236, 409. 

«i Journal of Congress, VI, 222, 238, 255, 256. 

62 Report of the Secretary of the Treasury, January 10, 1868. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 369 

and fought it to the end. About half the delegation would have 
consented to making notes legal tender, but Congress considered 
this inadequate. 63 The act of February 17, 1864, allowed notes to 
be funded until January 1, 1865, after which date they were to 
be taxed out of existence. Only Senator Dortch sanctioned this 
program, the others being in outright opposition. 64 The delega- 
tion was much more cooperative on other economic matters. A 
majority agreed that hoarding and speculation should be 
checked, 65 but Congress never passed an effective law against 
either. They granted the executive surprising latitude in negoti- 
ating the Erlanger Loan and the purchase abroad of vessels of 
war. 66 They approved the produce loan program, 67 and had much 
cotton and tobacco reached Europe it would have netted the Con- 
federacy valuable foreign exchange. But to counteract the block- 
ade the North Carolina congressmen agreed to an austerity pro- 
gram whereby the importation of luxuries was prohibited, plant- 
ers were urged to emphasize foodstuffs, and property was to be 
destroyed if in danger of capture. 68 Obviously the administration 
measures fared best with North Carolina when they did not 
involve a conflict of state with national authority. 

Early in 1862 the threatened disintegration of the army 69 and 
the occasional civil disturbances caused Congress to permit the 
President to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in certain in- 
stances. Under the circumstances this act received no opposition, 
but subsequent attempts at re-enactment provoked heated oppo- 
sition. The rights of states and individuals were thoroughly 
debated, and as opinion depended largely on theories of govern- 
ment rather than conditions at home, North Carolina's delega- 
tion was evenly divided on suspension. The First Congress 
enacted two other habeas corpus laws and North Carolina was 
divided on both. 70 Opponents brooked no compromise and, win or 
lose, contested it doggedly. 

During 1863 an active peace movement developed in the South. 
While some wished peace on any terms, most believed that the 
North would concede southern independence if only the South 

63 Journal of Congress, III, 322; VI, 632. 

«* Journal of Congress, III, 625-627, 644, 648-653, 656, 763; VI, 599, 616-618, 623, 624, 644. 

65 Journal of Congress, III, 254; VI, 667. 

69 Journal of Congress, II, 167, 168; V, 33-35. 

67 Journal of Congress, II, 454-456; V, 265. 

68 Journal of Congress. II, 57; V, 62; VI, 679. 

69 See p. 367, above. 

to Journal of Congress, III, 693, 702-704, 709, 712; V, 517, 518; VI, 764. 

370 The North Carolina Historical Review 

would open negotiations. The North Carolina delegation urged 
this step upon President Davis, 71 but he was convinced that it 
would be a useless and dishonorable gesture. 72 Peace advocates 
worked for a resolution requesting him to make the overtures, 
but the majority refused to coerce the President in what was 
conceded to be his own domain. The North Carolina delegation 
favored a conference between Congress and the executive on 
peace, but only Arrington, McDowell, and Smith would force his 
hand or let Congress act instead. 73 

By the end of 1863 there had arisen against the Davis adminis- 
tration a strong congressional opposition which, though a minor- 
ity, was an important influence on legislation. A tabulation of 
votes on ten subjects reveals that Davis, Dortch, Kenan, Lander, 
and McLean were administration supporters. Each of the others 
opposed over two-thirds of the ten measures. 74 This division to a 
large extent followed earlier political alignments. The conserva- 
tives did not monopolize the opposition, but were about four to 
one against the administration ; 75 the secessionists and Democrats 
were almost equally divided. 76 This would indicate that the ad- 
ministration fared best with those most responsible for the war. 
But the North Carolina opposition was based less on politics than 
on the state's mounting dissatisfaction with the conduct of the 
Confederate government. The state government and a majority 
of its citizens felt neglected, abused, endangered, unappreciated, 
and outmaneuvered. 

The loss of Roanoke Island late in 1861 rudely awakened the 
people to their vulnerability. 77 Their congressmen began request- 
ing without success that out-of-state militia be returned and that 
the state be made a separate military department. 78 Governor 
Vance even sought the return of firearms given to the Confed- 
eracy and competed with it for supplies in domestic and foreign 

71 The North Carolina representatives to Governor Vance, January 25, 1864, Vance's 
Letter Books, IX, 2, Confederate Archives. 

72 Jefferson Davis to Zebulon B. Vance, January 8, 1864, Vance Papers. 

73 Journal of Congress, V, 385, 386; VI, 350, 638. 

71 These ten key matters were conscription, state control over its militia and draftees, 
exemption, taxation, compulsory funding, sundry economic matters, the writ of habeas 
corpus, peace negotiations, criticism of cabinet members, and overriding vetoes. 

75 Unionists and Whigs were divided 6-1 and 5-2 respectively against the administration 

76 Secessionists and Democrats supported these policies by a ratio of 2-4 and 3-3 respectively. 

77 A congressional committee, headed by B. S. Gaither, placed blame for the defeat squarely 
on Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin, one of President Davis's "pets." Report of the 
Roanoke Island Investigating Committee. 

78 The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Con- 
federate Armies (Washington, 1880-1901), Ser. I, Vol. IX, 434-436; Ser. I, Vol. LI, pt. 2, 
627, 628. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 371 

markets. Another problem concerned the appointment of Con- 
federate officers. Congressmen repeatedly protested that North 
Carolinians were being commanded by officers from other 
states. 79 They also felt that the large number of enlisted men 
from North Carolina merited the state a greater number of high 
commands than President Davis had allotted it. Vance insisted on 
the right to appoint officers to all vacancies occuring in the state 
militia in Confederate service, and wrangled with the War De- 
partment until the war was nearly over. 

Vance also did everything possible to control conscription in 
the state. He declared all public officials exempt, and under his 
care over 14,000 men escaped service. 80 When the War Depart- 
ment denied conscripts the right of habeas corpus in order to 
avoid protracted legal suits, the state supreme court sustained 
the authority of a judge to release men thus held. From time to 
time congressmen requested the suspension of conscription in 
certain districts to maintain local defenses or agricultural pro- 
duction, but were always unsuccessful. Even after conscription 
was thoroughly imprinted on the state they secured the right of 
enlisted men to join companies from their own state if they de- 
sired. 81 They wished to allow regiments and battalions almost 
full powers in electing their officers, but were only partly suc- 
cessful 82 

These and other measures caused the state to suspect an ex- 
panding national authority. Newspapers deplored the "usurpa- 
tions" and "military despotism" being perpetrated. The state was 
relatively free from invasion and national laws were easier to 
apply than in most areas. One-fourth of all conscripts were from 
North Carolina, 83 and the War Department's efforts to draft men 
serving in local defense units were especially objectionable. The 
tax in kind bore heavily on small farmers, impressment laws 
were costly, and the spiralling inflation threw finances into con- 
fusion. R. R. Bridgers feared that the state was "doomed to play 

79 The War Department earnestly tried to remedy these faux pas, particularly the con- 
script and quartermaster officers, but George Davis inaccurately contended that "our recom- 
mendations for high military appointments are ignored. . . ." Davis to Governor Vance, 
April 16, 1863, Vance Papers. 

80 Conscription and several other administration measures were opposed by a majority of 
the congressmen from eastern states, and passed only with the almost solid support of the 
western and occupied states. 

81 Journal of Congress, IIT, 337; VI, 78, 79. 

82 Journal of Congress, II, 147; VI, 684. They conceded, however, the President's right to 
appoint field officers. Jotirnal of Congress, V, 222. 

83 J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton, "The North Carolina Courts and the Confederacy," North 
Carolina Historical Review, IV (October, 1927), 366. 

372 The North Carolina Historical Review 

a second part in the new . . . Government" to the cotton states, 84 
and B. S. Gaither reported that North Carolina had been "snub- 
bed and insulted" until it was intolerable. 85 Congressmen gener- 
ally felt that President Davis did things "pretty much in his own 
way," 86 and they rarely had a successful interview with him. 

A result of these real and fancied grievances was a growing 
defeatism. Thousands deserted from the army, and the people at 
home wrote numerous letters encouraging them to do so. 87 Public 
meetings began suggesting peace negotiations based on Con- 
federate independence ; when Congress and the President took no 
action an agitative minority led by W. W. Holden proposed a 
state convention. They avoided explaining what the convention 
should do, but Governor Vance and his friends suspected that 
separate state action was intended. Vance refused to countenance 
the movement, and swore he would see the conservative party 
"blown into a thousand atoms and Holden . . . into Hell" before 
dishonoring the Confederacy. 88 Late in 1863 he declared mildly 
but firmly against a convention, knowing that the issue would 
dominate the approaching elections. 89 

News of this dissention spread to other states and the North 
Carolina delegation began to meet charges of disloyalty at every 
turn. Senator Reade reported "the most mortifying distrust" of 
the state and warned that "extreme measures will be resorted to 
against her citizens." 90 He explained to the Senate that the dis- 
satisfaction indicated "an excess of loyalty to the State, without 
any abatement toward the Confederacy" ; but he deplored Con- 
federate policies and hinted approval of the aforementioned 
convention. 91 In the House Gaither admitted that the state was 
divided politically but was united in support of the Confederacy. 92 
He read a resolution of the legislature condemning the "slander- 
ous reports" of disloyalty and pledging its "men and money" to 
independence. 93 The entire delegation held a heated interview 

84 Bridgers to Thomas Ruffin, February 17, 1862, J. G. de Roulhac Hamilton (ed.), The 
Papers of Thomas Ruffin (Raleigh, 1920), III, 216. 

85 Gaither to Zebulon B. Vance, April 24, 1868, Vance Papers. 

8fl Gaither to Thomas Ruffin, April 1, 1862, Hamilton, Pavers of Thomas Ruffin, III, 227. 

87 Richard E. Yates, "Zebulon B. Vance as War Governor of North Carolina, 1862-1865," 
Journal of Southern History, III (February, 1937), 68. 

88 Vance to William A. Graham, January 1, 1864, Graham Papers. 

89 Yates, "Vance as War Governor," 15. 

90 Reade to William A. Graham, February 4, 1864, Graham Papers. 

91 Memoirs of W. W. Holden (Durham, 1911), 39, 40. 

92 Hillsboro Recorder, March 4, 1863. 

93 Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 1862-1863, 80, 81. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 373 

with President Davis in February, 1864, and warned him "to 
trust North Carolina & let her alone." 9 * 

Although elections for the Second Congress were in November, 
1863, the campaign began a year earlier. The former Democrats 
and "destructives" were stigmatized by the war difficulties, 
though by no means had all supported the Davis program. The 
conservatives narrowly escaped division over the question of 
peace. The Holden faction condemned Confederate policies and 
demanded that the election turn on whether Congress must initi- 
ate peace negotiations. 95 The Vance conservatives differed only 
in regard to negotiations, which they considered an executive 
matter. Except when success was assured, the conservatives re- 
fused to split their party, though their candidates were usually 
the favorites of one or the other faction. 

In the campaign both parties condemned Confederate policies 
and made peace the main issue. The Democrats contended that 
its agitation would only demoralize the nation and that victory 
must be won in the field. All conservatives wished the support 
of Governor Vance, and in some districts his favor may have been 
decisive. He worried lest some candidates advocate separate state 
action for peace, but the state's sincere loyalty to the Confederacy 
would have made this very poor politics. 96 Even the Holdenites 
maintained that a convention would serve only as an emergency 
body and not for peace action. All but the sixth district were 
hotly contested with candidates participating in speaking tours 
and joint debates. Conservative newspapers emphasized the 
willingness of the United States for peace, 97 while the opposition 
harped on the reconstructionist program of the "croaking peace 
men." 98 

The delegates to the Second Congress in the order of their 
districts were W. N. H. Smith, R. R. Bridgers, James Thomas 
Leach, 99 Thomas Charles Fuller, 100 Josiah Turner, 101 John Adams 

94 Edwin G. Reade to Zebulon B. Vance, February 10, 1864, Vance Papers. 

^Raleigh Standard, July 22, 1863. They wisely refused to make a state peace convention 
the major issue. 

86 At a peace meeting in the tenth district George W. Logan was nominated, but all other 
nominations were made through newspapers. Raleigh Standard, October 14, 1863. 

97 See particularly the Raleigh Standard and the Hillsboro Recorder. 

98 See the Wilmington Journal. 

99 J. T. Leach of Johnston County had been a practicing physician and planter for fifty 
years. He was a Unionist Whig and had become a peace man by 1864. 

ioo Fuller graduated from the University of North Carolina, then studied law, and com- 
menced practicing in Cumberland County. He was a Unionist Whig and had become a peace 
man by 1864. 

101 Turner graduated from the University of North Carolina, then practiced law, edited 
the Hillsboro Recorder, and managed his father's plantation. He had represented Orange 
County in the legislature, was a Unionist Whig in 1861, and a peace man in 1864. 

374 The North Carolina Historical Review 

Gilmer, 102 Samuel H. Christian, 103 James Graham Ramsey, 104 
B. S. Gaither, and George Washington Logan. 105 Christian died 
before taking office and James Madison Leach won a run-off to 
replace him. 106 The delegation was a rebuke to the secessionists, 
for only Bridgers had favored secession and in the First Congress 
he had allied with the anti-Davis faction. All save Bridgers and 
Gaither urged peace negotiations in one way or another, and 
almost half were Holdenites. Dissatisfaction with Confederate 
policies this time had proved stronger than past political ties. 

The North Carolina delegation to the Second Congress, which 
began in May, 1864, very accurately represented the state's atti- 
tude toward Confederate policies. It was neither disloyal nor 
obstructionist, but it undoubtedly had little confidence in these 
policies and intended to restrain them. William A. Graham re- 
ported that "The Government has lost much of the confidence of 
the country/' 107 and that there was a "general opinion" in Con- 
gress that President Davis was "unfit for the present duties of 
his position. . . ." 108 The majority of the delegation felt that there 
was a "disposition to clothe the Executive, with still stronger 
powers." 109 James M. Leach believed that this would produce 
"anarchy despotism, & confusion & utter ruin," 110 and warned of 
"brass button and bayonet rule. . . ." m James T. Leach an- 
nounced in Congress that he was "entirely opposed to the tram- 
pling down of States rights . . ." and predicted that soon he would 
be "hung" with other moderates. 112 In confidence some congress- 
men almost despaired of independence. Graham as early as 
August, 1864, saw "no prospect of the termination of the war," 113 
and Josiah Turner wrote that "there is nothing that Congress 
can do to save us, it is all with the Lord and General Lee." 114 

102 Gilmer was born in 1805. After teaching school, he read law and gained a large practice 
in Guilford County. He served in the United States Congress and was a Unionist Whig in 
1860. He desired peace negotiations in 1864, but considered it an executive matter. 

103 Christian opposed secession and was a peace man in 1864. 

104 After graduating from Davidson College, Ramsey attended Jefferson Medical College 
and then practiced for fifty years. He had represented Rowan County in the state legislature, 
was a Unionist Whig in 1861, and a peace man in 1864. 

105 Logan was born in Rutherford County in 1815. He was superior court clerk and a 
tavern keeper. He read law and was building up a good practice when the state seceded. He 
was a Unionist Whig in 1861 and a peace man in 1864. 

106 J. M. Leach was born in 1815. After graduating from the United States Military Academy 
he read law and practiced in Davidson County. He served in the United States Congress as 
a Whig, was a Unionist in 1861, and a peace man in 1864. 

107 Graham to David L. Swain, December 17, 1864, Graham Papers. 

108 Graham to David L. Swain, February 12, 1865, Graham Papers. 
108 Graham to David L. Swain, November 26, 1864, Graham Papers. 

110 J. M. Leach to Zebulon B. Vance, March 5, 1864, Vance Papers. 

111 Hilhboro Recorder, February 8, 1865. 

112 Richmond Enquirer, November 11, 1864. 

" 3 Graham to David L. Swain, August 15, 1864, Graham Papers. 

114 Turner to his wife, May 5, 1864, Turner Papers, University of North Carolina. 

North Carolina in Confederate I Congress 


In matters of legislation the delegation worked more as a unit, 
showed considerably more initiative, and was less prone to 
compromise than the preceding one. 

Despite the critical shape of Confederate finances by 1864, the 
delegation almost to a man opposed strong remedial measures. 
The Second Congress increased the scope and rates of taxes, but 
with the approval only of Senator Dortch from North Caro- 
lina. 115 Senator Graham favored a heavy corporation tax, and 
most of the representatives consented to a tax penalizing specu- 
lators, 116 but these were only random instances of cooperation. 
The First Congress had also devised a valuable tax in the form 
of a ten per cent tithe on all agricultural products; when the 
Second Congress attempted to double the tithe the North Caro- 
linians voted wholeheartedly against what they considered dis- 
criminatory legislation. 117 When taxation failed to curb inflation 
Congress sought to force the funding of currency into high 
interest bonds. Despite several laws to this effect, it was soon 
evident that the lure of immediate profits made treasury notes 
preferred to these bonds, and Congress, in a desperate effort to 
induce funding, declared most notes invalid after a certain date. 
Many considered this a breach of contract and a penalty on 
loyalty, and only Gaither and Dortch sanctioned any form of 
repudiation. 118 

On other economic matters the delegation attempted to block 
legislation which they considered harmful or discriminatory. By 
1864 most measures were extreme and to many this tended to 
concentrate a dangerous amount of power in the administration. 
The House delegation refused to allow old treasury notes to be- 
come legal tender or to let the President impress gold; but it 
agreed that he could permit the exportation of gold whenever he 
wished. 119 Both Senate and House delegations almost unani- 
mously wished to permit states and certain individuals the right 
to sell staple crops abroad; 120 in addition they sought to repeal 
the law allotting the Confederate government half the storage 
space on all ships. 121 They were usually outvoted on these and 

«« Journal of Congress, IV, 228, 229, 646, 647; VII, 142, 203, 204, 216-218. 

116 Journal of Congress, IV, 190; VII, 140, 141. 

117 Journal of Congress, VII, 183, 184, 629, 686. 

118 Journal of Congress, IV, 47, 152, 192; VII, 160, 161. Turner called any repudiation 
"false in its general principles, and ruinous in its details." Richmond Examiner, December 
15, 1864. 

™ Journal of Congress, VII, 22, 765, 767. 
>*> Journal of Congress, IV, 286; VII, 695. 
i 21 Journal of Congress, IV, 74, 75; VII, 152. 

37*5; The: NoRTfy Carolina Historical Review 

other economic measures, but apparently had accepted their role 
as leader of the opposition. 

Impressment of property and suspension of the writ of habeas 
corpus continued in the Second Congress to be important 
issues. 122 The practice of impressment had proved very valuable, 
but it was frequently abused by overzealous or unauthorized 
men. The delegation attempted to limit these abuses by restrict- 
ing impressment only to licensed agents, and they worked suc- 
cessfully to guarantee prompt settlement of claims for goods in 
any way illegally taken. 123 In addition they unanimously refused 
to grant the President or the Secretary of War the right to im- 
press railroads. 124 The same degree of caution was shown regard- 
ing suspension of the writ of habeas corpus. Early in the session 
President Davis requested another suspension, but the state 
rights element was now less compromising. All North Caro- 
linians except Dortch opposed suspension on every count and 
urged state judges to guard against martial law or attempts at 
suspension. 125 

Meanwhile the need for soldiers was becoming increasingly 
pressing as Federal troops massed to the northward. The con- 
scription age already included those from seventeen to fifty, so 
Congress hoped to increase the army by reducing the number of 
men exempt from military service. The North Carolina legisla- 
ture denounced this as ruinous to its industry and demoralizing 
to its government personnel, 126 and Senator Graham warned Con- 
gress that it would "make a draft on society that it can not stand 
even temporarily/' 127 When Congress began paring the number 
of exemptions, the delegation made every effort to retain all 
classes heretofore allowed. With the exception of Dortch, its vote 
was exceptionally uniform and at times constituted almost one- 
third of the opposition. 128 

While exemptions were being reduced, Congress, at the instiga- 
tion of the President, was contemplating better uses for the 
large Negro population. The First Congress had authorized him 

122 The legislature complained of both. Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 
1863, 30, 31; Public Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 1865, 35, 36, 39, 40. 

123 Journal of Congress, IV, 132, 150; VII, 224, 225. Only Dortch opposed these precautions. 
12* Journal of Congress, IV, 219; VII. 584-587. 

125 Journal of Congress, IV, 387, 721; VII, 80, 336, 337, 348, 350, 771; Richmond Examiner, 
May 25, 1864; Richmond Enquirer, May 17, 1864. 

126 p u blic Laws of North Carolina, Adjourned Session, 186^, 23, 24. 

127 Richmond Enquirer, February 11, 1865. 

w* Journal of Congress, IV, 544, 561, 562; VII, 447-449, 473-475, 480, 486, 487. The only 
class of exemptions they opposed was that exempting overseers. 

North Carolina in Confederate Congress 377 

to impress a limited amount of slave labor for a short time, but 
on November 7, 1864, he advised that this law was now com- 
pletely inadequate. 129 Shortly afterward Congress removed all 
limitations on the impressment of slaves for labor, though all the 
North Carolinians except Gaither and Dortch opposed on grounds 
that it would lead to arming them. 130 They were correct and both 
President Davis and General Robert E. Lee strongly recom- 
mended the drafting and arming of slaves and free Negroes. 
Graham considered the proposal "as equivalent to a dissolution 
of the Confederacy," 131 and Turner postponed his trip home to 
fight the measure. 132 In the course of the discussion, Congress 
considered arming all slaves, arming only 300,000 of them, 
promising them freedom in return for their service, and other 
variations. Dortch supported the idea wholeheartedly ; the others 
opposed it desperately, but to no avail. 133 

While these matters raged, some members were drawing 
together into an unofficial "peace party/ ' President Davis main- 
tained that when the United States wanted peace "there will be 
no difficulty in finding means" to obtain it, but it had evidenced 
no such desire. 134 Several from each house, however, disagreed 
with him thoroughly, and James T. Leach in May, 1864, and Gil- 
mer and Turner that winter requested him to attempt peace 
feelers. 135 Such resolutions typed their authors and supporters 
as "reconstructionists" in the opinion of the majority, but, what- 
ever their private beliefs, either caution or conviction made the 
peace men always include complete independence as a sine qua 
non. 136 When some congressmen early in 1865 seemed determined 
to force the President's hand, 137 he forestalled them by agreeing 
to meet representatives of the United States at Hampton Roads, 
Virginia. Congress temporarily halted its peace agitation, but 
the story of the Hampton Roads disappointment is a familiar 

129 Journal of Congress, VII, 254, 255. 

130 Journal of Congress, IV, 670; VII, 505, 666, 667, 719; Richmond Examiner, November 
29, 1864; Raleigh Standard, November 9, 1864. 

131 Graham to his wife, February 26, 1865, Graham Papers. 

132 Turner to his wife, February 11, 1865, Turner Papers. 

i™ Journal of Congress, IV, 528, 671, 672; VII, 507, 508, 542, 543, 609, 610, 612, 613. 

134 Journal of Congress, VII, 256. 

135 Journal of Congress, VII, 44, 84, 85, 360-364. Richmond Enquirer, May 5, 1864. All 
representatives except Gaither favored requesting the President to take this step. On a 
similar motion in the Senate Graham favored the idea, while Dortch opposed it. None sug- 
gested publicly that Congress take the lead, but this restraint was due to the certainty that 
it would have been defeated; the same may be said of separate state action. 

136 Most North Carolinians were at one time or another accused of being reconstructionists. 

137 Graham was a ringleader in this plot. Hiram P. Bell, Men and Things (Atlanta, 1907), 
100, 101; Reminiscences of Jehu A. Orr, (typed copy in the State Department of Archives 
and History, Jackson, Miss.), 5, 6. 

378 The North Carolina Historical Review 

one in Confederate history. After Lincoln's uncompromising con- 
ditions were revealed, the House, with the dissenting vote only 
of James T. Leach, resolved to continue the war unabatedly. 138 
When Congress adjourned sine die most North Carolinians sug- 
gested that the state legislature remain in session in order to take 
state action for peace at the first opportunity. 

The delegation to the Second Congress thus won for itself the 
distinction — or the notoriety— of being chief critic of the man- 
agement of the Confederacy. Senator Dortch was the only con- 
sistent supporter of national policies, while Representative 
Gaither favored them about half the time; the others seldom 
approved any of them. This opposition was based almost entirely 
on the conviction that poor leadership had foisted a despotic 
and ruinous regime on the people and the states. The delegation 
as a whole never wavered in its loyalty to Confederate objectives, 
but criticized the methods used to obtain these objectives. This 
opinion was so strong during 1864 and 1865 that most of the 
congressmen showed a readiness to indict the President, his 
"pets," or his policies at a moment's notice. 139 Unfortunately this 
criticism was largely negative and the delegation seldom offered 
alternatives to the administration program. Their greatest error 
was in supposing that a full-scale war could be conducted with- 
out some of the treasured aspects of state rights being abused. 

1 38 Journal of Congress, VII, 646, 647. 

139 For instance, they agree almost unanimously on the appointment of a general-in-chief 
with plenary military powers, that Secretaries Benjamin and Memminger were incompetent, 
and that the President had exceeded his appointment powers. Journal of Congress, IV, 166, 
457, 458, 552, 553; VII, 110, 462, 658. 



By Elaine von Oesen 

When in 1927 the North Carolina Citizens' Library Movement 
started its campaign "to cut through ignorance, indifference, 
inertia, and inequality until every person has an equal public 
access to books in . . . North Carolina," only thirty-five per cent 
of the population lived in areas served by public libraries. Eight 
years later the percentage of citizens served had risen only to 
thirty-eight; but in the following seven years library service 
became available to eighty-five per cent of North Carolinians. 
Reasons for the startling differences in development during 
these chronologically comparable periods are, of course, complex 
as are causes of most expansions. 

The depression of the nineteen thirties had a dual effect upon 
public libraries. Support of libraries was curtailed as a part of 
the general reduction in public expenditures, and at the same 
time greater demands were made upon the services of public 
libraries. The financial effect of the depression is graphically 
shown in the per capita income of public libraries, which doubled 
from four to eight cents between 1927 and 1929, largely through 
the work of the Citizens' Library Movement, and then dropped 
back to six cents until 1936 when, with general economic recov- 
ery, it slowly began to climb, reaching twelve cents by 1942. With 
a greater demand and increased use of library books it would 
be reasonable to expect the number of books per capita to de- 
crease as they wore out. For with no increase of funds from 1930 
to 1935 they could not be repaired or replaced in sufficient num- 
ber. Yet the opposite was true. In the decade of the thirties the 
number of volumes per capita in North Carolina's public libraries 
increased from .15 to .26. How could the service area of the 
state's public libraries be widened to include 824,882 more people 
and book stock be increased from .21 to .27 volumes per capita 
with an increase of only six cents per capita income between 
1935 and 1942? There was obviously some aid not shown on 
annual reports made to the North Carolina Library Commission 


380 The North Carolina Historical Review 

by the public libraries of the state. 1 That aid came from the 
United States government through a series of agencies designed 
to relieve the unemployment situation. Although assistance to 
libraries was not a primary function of the relief administra- 
tions, definite and ascertainable assistance did result. The gen- 
eral aim of the government was to provide work for unemployed 
men and women on public projects where there would be no 
competition with commercial enterprises. Public libraries fitted 
easily into this category, and, as librarians realized this and 
asked for personnel, they began to receive federal aid. Cards 
from the North Carolina Library Commission to the public 
librarians of the state urging them to request workers from local 
administration offices attested to the alertness of the Commission, 
which enabled the public libraries of the state to benefit from the 
earliest days of the program. 2 

Beginning in 1932 the United States government aided library 
service and extension by furnishing clerks and bookmenders 
through the Federal Emergency Relief Administration and Civil 
Works Service; and indirectly, by construction work, through 
the Federal Emergency Administration of Civil Workers, later 
called the Public Works Administration. 3 

Under the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, 4 the 
President created an entirely new agency, the Works Progress 
Administration (later called the Work Projects Administration, 
and herein referred to as the WPA) , which was given the power 
to "recommend and carry on small useful projects designed to 
assure a maximum of employment in all localities." 5 

At first employment in library activities was carried on, as 
in earlier agencies, only on the local level. As the WPA developed, 
however, long-range planning of a semipermanent nature was 
seen to be the most efficient way of expending the public funds 
to produce more lasting benefits. 6 The primary purpose of WPA, 
as of its predecessors, was to increase employment ; but the work 

1 Figures are based on statistics published by the North Carolina Library Commission in 
the following: North Carolina Library Bulletin, VI-VII (September, 1926-September, 1930); 
North Carolina Libraries (1931-1937); Statistics of North Carolina Public Libraries, College 
and University Libraries (1938-1942). 

2 Form card in North Carolina Library Commission files. 

3 Edward Barrett Stanford, Library Extension Under the WPA (Chicago: The University 
of Chicago Press, 1944), 12-32. 

* Public Resolution No. 11